Inner Voices

I keep using the phrase, “ebb and flow” lately, when referring to my life…my healing…my whatever. I’m over a year and a half into this “work” I’ve been doing, and lately… I have more days than not where I feel I haven’t made much progress at all. I can’t even bring myself to read my posts from last year, back when I was badass. Back when I was fixing appliances and taking names. Back when I spoke my truth and became empowered. Back when I learned what brought me joy and I did it.  Back when I knew my worth.

OK, I suppose that last sentence is a bit misleading. It’s not that I don’t know my worth. I know it. I’m just having a hard time feeling it. Yes, there’s a difference. Feeling it, (or not feeling it, in this case), is that inner voice. My inner critic. My superego. The one who laughs at my intellectual self, who is the one who tells me I’m worthy. My intellectual self uses all the new language I’ve learned, all the research and knowledge I’ve gained, and says it to my inner self. Over and over and over. But my inner self is ebbing….or is it flowing? I’m never sure which is which, when talking about life’s highs and lows. Anyway, my inner voice isn’t matching up to my intellectual voice anymore. And I hate it.

God, I was so freaking strong when they matched up. I was powerful. Even I wouldn’t have messed with me back then. Hell hath no fury like an empowered woman who knows her worth! I became that way by removing all of my triggers. Easy! Live in a bubble and all is well…tra, la la….

My bubble was so perfect, so believable…I didn’t think I needed it anymore. That’s a core dilemma, isn’t it? Stay in the bubble so you don’t get hurt, or go out of the bubble so you can attempt to live a real life? TOUGH decision! In the words of my future boyfriend, Garth Brooks,

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance”.  

I swear, sometimes I think Garth is the male country version of Oprah…speaks to my heart. Anyway,  I’ll save you the details, but right now…I’m outside the bubble. I can’t even get back in, because the only way out is to pop it and hope for the best. And well, the best didn’t happen. I know, I know…that’s how life goes. Trust me, my intellectual self has been telling me that for weeks now. That’s what’s interesting about being outside the bubble this time. The first time, which just so happened to be right after I realized I had been living in a cocoon my entire life, well that first time was so raw and eye opening, I didn’t really mind it. I liked it. For the first time in my life, as painful as it was, I felt like I was living.  I saw life and felt experiences, painful or not, with a new clarity…from a new perspective. My inner self and my intellectual self matched up quickly. The puzzle pieces started falling into place and my year of “work” paid off.

Of course, I didn’t completely realize that in order to stay in that place, I had to live in the bubble. Bubbles are transparent, and you don’t even notice them if you stay busy enough. But I’m not so busy anymore. I sold my company. I have a much less stressful job. I’ve been separated long enough that it feels normal now. The kids are busy and off conquering the world, now that one of them has a car. I don’t need to journal 10 times a day anymore. I have time. And when you’ve got time on your hands, and your inner voice is telling you you’re not worthy, life gets difficult.

So, I’m spending my time flip flopping between the two voices. One saying, “Other people get those things, Jami. You don’t. That’s just how it is.” And the other is saying, “You are worthy and things will come when they are supposed to. Trust the process.” They say a lot of other things, but I’m trying to make a long story a little less long (sorry). I spent my entire life listening to that first inner voice, the one who knew I wasn’t supposed to have the things I long for in life. I never even asked for them, because I knew. That’s toxic shame for ya…it’s a bitch. I had no clue that another voice even existed, let alone knew the things it would say to be true. And I feel blessed to have been able to figure out a way to listen to that second voice last year. Not only listen to it, but believe it. I believed it right up until about two months ago. That’s when I hit the ebb, (or flow?)  and started to realize that I had been wrong all along. “Other people get those things, Jami. You don’t. That’s just how it is.” Right now, most of me feels like maybe I was just faking it all last year, because this is what feels real right now. My empowered self feels like an act. Fooled you, suckers! And guess what? Even admitting that makes me feel ashamed. Gosh! (read that like Napoleon Dynamite). Staying miserable is easier…

My saving grace in all of this is that the difference between this time…the difference between hearing that voice now and when I heard it my entire life before, is that I have that intellectual voice now. My tool box is at least over halfway full.  I never had a counter voice before. I never flip flopped. I was just unworthy, plain and simple. No argument to be made, as the opposing side did not exist to me. At least now, I have an argument. And even though my inner voice is kicking ass right now, I am holding on to a thin thread of hope that if I focus on the process, my intellectual voice will prevail.

That’s what faith is, right?


22 thoughts on “Inner Voices”

  1. Have you ever read any of Marianne Williamson’s books? Everyday Grace is one of the best that comes to mind. She says we all hear two voices one is the voice of superego fear separation not good enough the other is one of love connection wholeness and freedom from separation.
    I certainly relate to all of this. At times my heart gives me a message and head just steps in and vetoes it. Sometimes my first impulse to help from may not always be best so its so hard to know sometimes what voice to follow.
    I have no answers but really do relate to this so much.

    1. I have not, but I love the title. The working title of my book is currently “Finding Grace”…the book I’m sure I’ll never finish, but one can dream…

      I know, there really is no answer. All I can do is feel it, talk about it, complain and vent about it…maybe stomp my feet a bit…and accept this as my life.

      1. Isn’t it another case of synchronicity that both have the word grace in the title? I was thinking after I posted my comment about oscillation and paradox. Nothing in life is ever set or linear so we just have to ride the tide or flow or oscillation with as much grace as we can. <3

              1. Ok, so I just got home from therapy. My therapist concluded that I’m having a “spiritual crisis”. I need to get back to work in order to renew my faith in everything. She validated me by saying I need to feel all of these emotions, as my situation (s) are sad…and then she did the most amazing thing. She reached up and pretended to pluck something from the sky, then placing it down…saying “you’ve been receiving touches of grace all along”. God, I was in the middle of crying, feeling so desperate and unloved…and she says “touches of grace” with the most genuine smile. I stopped crying…

          1. It’s true of the few people I know who wrote books. (And I mean books like we write — personal memories, and not non-personal books). Mrs. D is Without is written from her blog. I am on chapter 5 of a book that will be written mostly from journal entries, ending with blogs. Also, I don’t see why your writing would sound scripted in a book when you’re writing here does not. ?

            1. I think it must make it seem forced when I’m trying to organize it all. Here, it’s just me blurting out my thoughts, with no need to tie things together, create conclusions…whatever else it is that I know nothing about!

              1. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been trying to organize mine, and it just doesn’t want to go there. I think maybe a story doesn’t have to wrap itself around a conclusion. It’s better off just being a story, you know? I’m trying to organize it like a paper you had to do in college, and it’s not working. I have a writing coach who gave me a fantastic first task: she made me come up with a table of contents. That helped tremendously. It has changed, but I at least had to think through a structure of some kind.

    1. Oh, I always hang in there. It may not be pretty, and it may be depressing as all hell, but I hang in there. I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve emerged from much worse than this before

  2. That inner critic has been with you for way longer than the voice of truth that knows you are worthy. So, the brain pathways are well established. Reminds me of how I used to start driving to work on Sunday instead of church, then I’d remember, it’s Sunday! When we start out in recovery, we have this conquer the world momentum. Sooner or later, we come out of that pink cloud and hit a wall… or two… The path to the inner critic might always be there, but it will become overgrown as you turn away from it. The more you walk the path to the new, true voice, the more that path will become clear.

    1. Wow. Everything is starting to happen again for me…the signs are everywhere. You would not believe the email I just wrote…so many synchronicities to what you just wrote. I wish I could share it on here

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