The Voices in Our Heads…

We all hear voices in our heads. Seriously, I’m not nuts and neither are you. Well…you I’m not so certain of and truth be told, I’m not always sure what side of the sanity fence I sit on either, but hear me out before fitting me for a straight jacket.

The voices keep us company. It’s that dialog that plays in your head while you peruse the produce at the market,
“Hmm…peaches look nice today. Mmm, smell good, too. What the heck? Peaches it is. Yeah, yeah I know I need to eat more spinach, but I have to have the peaches, man!”
Then there’s good cop, bad cop,
“You want to write for a living? Hah! Get real. You’re going nowhere, see? You’re staying right here in this dead end job. ‘Cos that’s where you belong, see?”
“Hey, back off Karl. Let the kid breathe here. When she says she wants to write for living, maybe she’s talking about writing recipes for Good Housekeeping or something. Doesn’t mean she wants to cut out of her 9 to 5er, does it kid? You gotta let me know. I can’t keep Karl off your back for long. Come clean with me and we’ll see about reducing your time. Maybe you could write for a living later on, say another 10 to 20?”
I’ve tried to stay quiet about the whole writing thing, because I know there’s a lot more voices just itching for a chance to jump in and squash the entire notion. Terrible when you have to keep things both to and from yourself, isn’t it?
Then there’s that child. You know, the scared one. The child that feels overwhelmed in this great big bad world we live in.
“I can’t ask the boss for a raise. He’ll fire me!”
“I can’t live by myself. Who will take care of me?”
“I’m not going to get that mole checked out. And no one can make me.”
Where’s the adult? The steady, good-head-on-your-shoulders adult? That adult needs to tell the child to go out and play, while you (the adult) handle talking to the boss about that over-due raise, calming yourself so that you can take care of yourself, and make that appointment with the dermatologist.
Now we’re getting somewhere! How about the angel and devil? Everyone knows about these two.
“I can’t tell Barbara no. I’m always there for her and this time is no different. So what if it’s my birthday and I have a slipped disc in my back. I have to help her move. That’s what friends are for…no matter how inappropriate the request, I just need to be a good person and put my own needs on hold.”
“Fuck Barbara. It’s always me, me, me with her! Go get yourself a slice of that chocolate cake you’ve been salivating over, turn up the music, or check out that movie you want to see. I repeat, fuck Barbara.”
Of course, Adult needs to step in now and again with Devil; otherwise, you might find yourself eating more than one slice of chocolate cake, end up weighing 400 lbs. and need to be removed from your house with a crane. Listen to the Devil sparingly.
I know that good cop or bad, child or adult, angel or devil, all these voices belong to me. All me, just different expressions of me. The day I start to think these voices are outside of me, that’s the day I’m in serious trouble. I’m talking do not pass Go, do not collect $200 just go straight to the not-so-funny-farm.
Shall we go a step further? Why the hell not? I’ve got nothing better to do right now! In addition to the voices that argue, cajole, and sometimes sing in our heads, some of us (okay, most of us) have TAPES that play in our heads. Yeah, yeah. Get this. The “Voices” are sometimes too busy doing whatever else it is that they do when they’re not taunting or encouraging you (maybe taunting or encouraging someone else? Maybe these voices don’t belong to me! Eeeek), but they will leave tapes for your listening dis-pleasure.
With all these voices/tapes, sometimes I get a big, fat headache!

I say “dis-pleasure” because generally these tapes are of the negative variety. Why? Who the fuck knows? We humans are just weird that way. What’s that song that you can’t get out of your head? Your favorite? Hell no! It’s that song you despise that pings through your brain for hours on end. So the tapes? Negative. We like to play tapes that say, “you’re a loser, you’re a loser, you’re a loser” ad nauseam. Or maybe you prefer, “you can’t do that, you can’t do that, you can’t do that.” Whatever your preference, it’s all about the negative. What’s the freaking point? It’s the Man keeping you down! Keeping you under control and all status quo. The “Man” in this instance is the Mind. Your mind, that is. 
“Don’t rock the boat” is the motto of the Mind. Oh, did you think your mind was your friend? Hah! Are you an amateur? All the Mind cares about is staying in control and It does that best by keeping you UNDER control. The Mind doesn’t give a fuck about freedom or happiness, especially yours. Control does not equal happiness, love, freedom, or creativity. Get it? And the real bummer part? We’re so damn easy to control! Just tell us a few bad things about ourselves, scare us a little and we’re all too happy to go sit in the corner, like good girls and boys, eat our gruel, maybe suck on our thumb, definitely question nothing, and go nowhere.  So I say, stop the tape. Burn the tape. And while you’re at it, get rid of the damn tape player, too! All those bad things people told you? All lies. You are amazing. You can do it. In fact you can do anything. Human beings have infinite potential and an endless capacity to love, which includes loving yourself. Don’t let anyone, even and maybe especially yourself, tell you any differently. Why? ‘Cos it’s a waste of your time. You can be out there experiencing incredible moments in life. You can be traveling, creating fabulous art, laughing with good friends, or meeting your soul mate. 
Our voices can cheer us on or cut us off at the knees (gruesome image, no?). We’re not helpless, though. As much as we’d like to think we’re at effect of these voices, we’re really not.
“Oh poor, poor me. My dad was always telling me what a loser I am. I can’t change him. Can’t change myself. I’m just a loser.”
Well, you’re right about one thing. You cannot change your dad (or your mom, your fifth grade art teacher, Adam Balm the bully who beat you up every Tuesday at Fillmore Junior High, the list, unfortunately goes on) and you cannot change your past. All of it is a done deal; HOWEVER, you can change the dad in your head. Instead of calling you a loser, your dad can apologize for all the years he tried to crush your spirit and tromp all over your dreams. Yes. The dad in your head can change and you are the only one who can change him. Make him everything you ever wanted. Just like He-Man, you have the power.
When it comes to the voices in our heads, we are the puppet master. Don’t believe me? Try it. Someone in your head telling you that you’re not good enough, that you don’t quite measure up, and that other people are just so much damn better than you? Tell that voice to go to hell and stay there.
Move on. Overcome your past. Tell the negative voices to shut the fuck up and tell the positive voices to speak up! Or if that’s a bit too rough for you, simply turn the volume down on the negative channel and pump up the volume on the Positive-Yay-For-Me channel. Yeah, you get that channel, too. It’s not on the Prime Package, it comes on the Basic.

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