The voices in our head



I just woke up with a pounding heart. I don’t want to publish the article I wrote yesterday, was the first thing that crossed my mind. The next thing I did was tell myself that I was just being nervous,  and  that of course I would publish it, there was no real reason not to. – But there is! ‘I don’t want to’ is reason enough! – But you wrote it yesterday, yesterday you wanted to publish it. – I thought I wanted to, but I guess I don’t want to after all. – O, stop whining, just publish it! – No, I don’t want to! – Well then you have nothing to publish, do you? What will you write about then? May I remind you it is Wednesday already. You don’t have time to write something else! – O, I don’t know, maybe I’ll just write about you.

We all have conversations with ourselves, with different parts of ourselves, different voices talking to each other in our head. I have an interesting set of voices living in my head. It used to drive me crazy, because I couldn’t distinguish between them. Problem in my head is that one of the voices is a girl without a voice. She does have a voice, but she hasn’t learned to use it, and when she speaks her voice is so soft that is nearly inaudible.  So for most of my life, I didn’t hear her. I would hear the overpowering voices and opinions of all the other people living in my head – my parents, our reverend, teachers, not so good friends, bullies and myself at various stages of my life, but I rarely heard her, and when I heard her, she  never was sure, always doubting, stopping before she finished, trying not to get noticed, afraid to be bashed. Now it seems that this girl, once I started paying attention to her, says things that resonate on soul level. She knows me better than I know myself. She was there before all the other voices joined her and made her lose her voice. She may not be very articulate or speak well in front of an audience, but she is a force of her own. When I don’t listen to her, I get into situations that I don’t want to be in. When I don’t listen to her, I will first feel off and when I still don’t listen, there will be light physical ailment, and when I don’t listen then, it will be a very specific ailment that will get me out of the situation I got myself into. She has a way of making me listen. It just took a long time for me to connect the dots.

We all have these voices in our head, and I am pretty darn sure we all have an underdog we need to be listening to. The neglected, ignored voice that either says things that don’t fit in with the rest or that is drowned out by the stronger, more audible, more articulate, more socialized voices. For this is socialization at its best. The opinions instilled in us in our childhood will live on in our head as long as we let them. Being unconscious of the voices in our head, we make decisions based on what our dad said, or what our teacher thought of us, and we claim our choices to be ours.When we start examining the voices in our head, we will discover that they are in fact very different from each other. Each voice has a distinct personality, vocabulary, tone, and inflections. We need to examine the voices in our head and find that one voice that is closest to our heart. It may not sound as we would expect it to sound and it may very well say things that the other voices don’t agree with at all, but when we learn to recognize it and listen to it, we will make better choices and live better lives. We will be happier for it.


image by Sigurd Decroos

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