We all have it.
Inner monologue. Train of thought. Brain manifestations.
Whatever you call it doesn’t matter, because regardless I’m betting most of us struggle with a similar aspect: the dreaded naysayer! The you’re-not-good-enough. The dream-killer.
I hear this voice a lot and I’m a pretty strong-willed person. I can only imagine how it affects someone made of less stuff.
The voice inside will speak both good and bad, bending many directions, offering praise and insight, but also doubt and criticism. While both sides of the coin are not inherently bad, it is the interpretation and the takeaway from them that will ultimately decide how that voice affects us.
Before I jump too deep down this rabbit hole, I have something to say that you may not agree with.
You are not your inner thoughts.
Let me phrase that differently.
You are a multi-dimensional entity and this thinking meat-suit you wear is not who you really are.
You are so much more than the physical vessel you are driving. And the sad, sad truth is that so many people can’t grasp this concept, much less actively believe it.
So, what exactly do I mean?
Well, to start, where does that inner voice come from?
Have you sat and listened to it, and thought about that? Do you (always, ever, never) pre-determine your thoughts before you think them? Can you predict your next thought before you think it? Can your inner voice be aware of itself within itself?
Alternatively, can you stop thinking altogether? For 30 seconds? Completely and one-hundred percent no thoughts, or did you have a stray one here and there?
Truly ask yourself these questions and play with the concepts. See what happens.
Like many people, I believe we are not solely the body we exist in. We are more than our physical, and even our emotional, selves. Call it the spirit, the soul, whatever you believe in, but we are something else.
Unlike many people, I believe this concept extends to our minds, and to that inner voice inside our heads.
The inner voice, the thinker nestled inside our human body, is almost like a computer program we are navigating. Your body and its thinker spews thoughts, and comes with pre-set temperaments, behaviors, and patterns. You must absorb and interpret them to become the person you’re meant to. Genetics and environment will play a role, but ultimately you are given this mind, and you must learn to work with it, not against it.
See, your inherent nature, what you are, is an awareness, a still point of reference in the background, observing and interpreting the thoughts that come through. The way you choose to interact with those thoughts, and the ones that you feed, determines who you are.
You grow in your awareness as you grow from child to adult, perhaps one day acknowledging that the real you, your true nature, is limitless and whole. It knows that it is good enough and is at peace with simply being. It is here inside you, listening and observing, but it is not that inner voice speaking to you, thinking for you, critiquing you.
Your true self is simply a witness.
So, when that inner voice get’s nasty, when it tells you you’re not good enough… well it’s a lie!
And I’m betting you’ve heard that before. People tell you not to believe your self-doubts when you’re having a weak moment.
But understanding exactly why you shouldn’t believe those self-doubts might help you actually do it.
Because let’s face it, the voice inside our heads can be mean! It can be cruel, and negative, and can make you doubt everything you’ve ever believed about yourself. One wrong interpretation could send you spiraling.
The human self, the mind, comes with insecurities and flaws and lack. It will spit lies to you your whole life.
The human self, the false self, is a challenge we must overcome. Only you can decide how you handle the voice inside your head, and the never ending trials that come from existing in this human form.
But the moment you acknowledge that you are NOT your thoughts, your mind, your emotions and your physical self, that you are actually something beyond, well, that makes it easier to look at the inner monologue as something separate. It is something that you must actively interpret, but it is not you.
You have to weed through your thoughts and figure out the purpose behind them. Is there a lesson you need to learn, or something about yourself you need to change? Do you need to be brave and take a chance? Do you need to slow down or learn to be kind?
Hopefully as you interpret this inner voice, you’ll experience a meaningful and happy life. After all, isn’t that the goal, to live and love your life?
We can all achieve it. Even with that little voice saying mean things and triggering doubt.
Believing these lies is what causes you to suffer. Believing that these negative and heavy emotions ARE you, will only make it worse.
You are simply living through a human experience, so live it!
I know this can be a difficult concept to understand, especially if you aren’t already somewhat interested in and familiar with mindfulness and spirituality. But my honest to goodness belief is that our physical persona is who we are for right now. In this life, only.
And you may laugh at the concept of reincarnation, but I’ve fully embraced it. Our true form chooses to come to the physical plane, to overcome challenges, to grow, to learn, to have meaning. Whatever your true nature must accomplish, it uses physical lives to do so. And you may, and probably already have, lived many lives before this one.
So, even when the inner voice has got nothing nice to say, acknowledge it, maybe learn something from it, but do not fall trap into believing that it is true, or that those thoughts are even you. Those thoughts are coming from your assigned meat-suit.
You are actually infinite, limitless, and badass. It’s quite cool.
This is oftentimes why many people who try to meditate using mantras, or by “calming their thoughts”, or focusing internally don’t feel fulfilled or successful in their practice. Because their mind, their inner voice, is trying to control the process and is telling them what to do. It seeks to trick them with its thoughts and actions to manipulate the experience.
What you should be doing is observing the experience, and acknowledging every thought that comes. Don’t force anything. The purpose for meditating is to connect with your true self, your true form, which is simply observing and driving this mind and body. Once you are awakened to your true self, you’ll find you can meditate pretty much anywhere, at any time. Because meditating, to me, is being mindful, aware, and in the present. Accepting the moment for what it is.
My secret to living a happy and fulfilled life is to live with mindfulness and acceptance. Take the challenges and negative emotions and harmful thoughts as they come, and experience it. Take it all in, and live in the moment, truly as it comes. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the AMAZING, no matter what happens.
I know. Easier said than done.
I struggle with this still. A lot! And I’m constantly reminding myself not to get overwhelmed, or frustrated, or doubtful.
When that voice tells me I’m a crappy writer and I’ll never be a published author, I cringe. When the voice tells me my stories and characters suck, sometimes I want to believe it.
But I choose not to.
Because I know that my true self, what I really am, is here in this world for a reason. And my purpose is to uncover that reason, and why I’ve been given this body and this mind.
So the next time that voice inside your head speaks, acknowledge it. Maybe there is something you could do or change to become a better person. I’m not saying the voice inside your head is always wrong, or bad at all. What I’m saying is that you have to interpret it, and come from a place of mindful watching, to truly understand the purpose of why the voice is saying what it is.
Think of your true self as the sky, and your mind is the clouds, or sunshine, or sometimes storms and rain. Let the thoughts come and then clear up once the problem has been solved.
Life is all about growth. And we only grow from trials and tribulations.
So go ahead, make friends with that voice inside your head.
You’re kinda stuck with it, at least for now.
Until next time –
You’re for happy writing,