“The voices in my head are legendary, I’ll never tell where the bodies are buried” great lyrics from a rock band named Shinedown.
We all carry on multiple conversations in our head almost at a constant level. I think it’s how we process information, figure out our course of action and generally cope with any given situation.
I was having a conversation with someone today but before I could comment on what they had planned for activities they started to apologize. I listened as they described what they thought were my responses. I hadn’t said anything yet. I was curious if they noticed and asked them why they felt I would respond that way. I was told they are so used to people second guessing their behavior that it is a habit to comment before others have a chance.
What are the narratives that are going in your head telling you? Are we so ingrained in thinking we think what others are going to say that we don’t even need to listen anymore? I agree the voices in my head are legendary and have many years to cultivate their opinions and perspective. The key is can you change what the voices say? Can you challenge their beliefs? Can you challenge your beliefs? I don’t think it’s easy and yet I do think you can.
When we meditate, thoughts float in and out, lists appear of things that need done and then disappear as we choose to put them aside for now. I got some good advice once or twice on dealing with negative self-talk. Writing down the words used helps to take away their power. You can review the conversation and decide the amount of truth that is present. An example is an on-going internal conversation I have about having to call customer service about anything. It takes me weeks if not months to get up the courage to call. Many outcomes have already been explored in my brain. They won’t answer, they will answer, I will be put on hold forever. I will tell my story and they will not have a solution. I won’t get a refund or they won’t offer a better deal. Now, it’s not to say that doesn’t happen on occasion but I know once I do call I most often get some sort of resolution.
I wish it was that easy in relationships. When you have been in a long term relationship I am not sure your partner has a chance to change in your narrative even if they wanted to. All of the shared experiences, shared obstacles and history tend to cloud any possible alternative outcomes.
What if they were with you instead of against you? How would the scenario play out then, if you were always thinking that this person is on your side and wants to be with you? Trust is a challenge for me. I know that and I confronted big pieces of my issues with it while at the ashram. My narratives on trust are exhausting even to me sometimes. Someone is interested in an aspect of me and wants to explore it further. They ask questions and share their experiences with me. I walk away from the conversation second guessing how much I shared of myself with them. What will they think of me and my verbal diarrhea? Is it too late to take it back and ask them to forget everything I said? They must think I am a real basket case and tend to blow things out of proportion. You get the idea right? The negative self talk is mine alone. The person may or may not be thinking any of those things. I have had people thank me for being vulnerable with them and that it helped them to see their issues and perhaps face them. If they only knew the conversation I had with myself about the stuff I had shared. Why is being honest and genuine about how we feel such a challenge? I heard that verbalizing your true feelings is something you have to own. Once put out there the next step is to deal with the consequences and own those too. It gets easier with practice and is one of the reasons that I started blogging. If I think it and feel then it’s likely that someone else does too. What if we were able to share our experiences and offer some comfort and advice to each other?
I joined a community group therapy session last week virtually. It was on the topic of codependent relationships. There were 12 people who attended from all over the world. As I listened I noticed that people have similar feelings, concerns, ideas and desires. It doesn’t matter your race, culture, location or language. We share a bond and it’s called being human and living the human condition.
I can’t stop the voices completely and have an inkling that they are there to help me as much as tear me down. I can change their speech through encouragement to positivity and well being. The effort is the same and the result is worth it.
The name of the online counselling service is called “BetterHelp.Com”