Which Voices Do You Listen To?

When you’re listening to the radio and something comes on that you don’t like, you change the station. Maybe its a song that doesn’t feel good today, or a program, or perhaps (if someone has been playing with your tuner) a whole station. But you make a choice and find something that you do like.

How many channels do we have on the TV now? Often we don’t even wait for one thing to end before we change the channel, or you skip the commercials by watching bits and pieces of another show. You have a remote, you know how to choose.

Going on line, you find 86 emails. Some you trash immediately, others you might look at briefly and then ditch, or file for later, a few you may want to read right now. You make choices about what serves you.

Consider the people in your life. How many, and how varied are these voices? Do you make choices about which ones you listen to? Do you notice which ones serve you? You probably wish you had a remote for some of them. Others you may feel you have to listen to, though even there you do have a choice. You know the difference between listening and paying attention, only, even when we think we are not paying attention these voices are going into our brains.

Voices that we have listened to over and over, we internalize. They come back to us, sometimes supporting us, but often critically. There may be many reasons we have internalized and still listen to critical voices, but they are never truth, they are mostly not really aspects of ourselves, and we can make choices with these too.

We can choose not to be around people who speak in ways that limit us. We can choose to disregard what these people say when we do have to be around them, or we may learn that we can ask them to change their station. Most importantly we can consciously pay attention to which voices we listen to and give our attention and belief to, both out side and inside. With awareness comes choice.

This may take practice, especially if the voices are old(young) ones. Patience is important, and self-forgiveness. There may be deep psychological, even evolutionary reasons we tend to notice even one critical voice among a group of supportive voices. But we can still make a conscious choice and over time it will stick.

I’m not speaking about constructive criticism, but words that limit our being, that tell us we are not OK in some basic way. These are never truth. The truth is that at center, you are a soul that is perfect and beautiful. This soul has its own voice, which is always supportive, even when suggesting changes. You know it when you experience it.

Amid the cacophony of voices that we walk through everyday, it may be hard to hear this deep inner voice. But we can recognize those voices around us that echo it and choose these. We can choose to give our attention and belief to these. Over time the supportive voices around us will strengthen the internal voices that echo our soul, that inspire us and give us life. We can learn to choose these, and release the old critical voices, that were never ours.

You can choose to listen to all the voices that say “Yes, you can”, rather than “No, you can’t”, and they will help you find your inner voice that knows “Yes, I am”.

(© 10/2009)

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