Internal Dialogue

Recently, the following conversation occurred in my head:

“Do what you are good at.”

“I should be a professional talker.”

“Just because you do something all the time doesn’t mean you are good at it.”

Am I the only one who has complete conversations with themselves in their head (okay, more than occasionally out loud)? This one is pretty representative of what is going on up there. I told you it was scary! Ummmmmmm … if this is grounds for commitment in an institution, this is a creative writing assignment. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Years ago I read Eckhart Tolle’s The New Earth. Early on in the book was a quotation that hurt my brain: What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. What?!?!?!? If I am not my thoughts, who am I? He then goes on to say that it is the voice that comes in to tell the others to shut up (can you tell that now I’m paraphrasing?) is you, not the voices of others that you have adopted.

It has always amazed me that my harsh internal critic has the loudest voice. The one that has the best advice speaks in a whisper. Trying to calm the other noise can be a challenge, but it always pays off when I take the time to do it.

Sometimes I find it easier to trick it into coming forward: If I really can’t make a decision on something, yet I can narrow it down to two options, I flip a coin. I don’t go with what the coin tells me, but what result I hope it will be when the coin is in the air. (I hope that still works now that the quiet voice knows that I know what is going on!)

Coin Tossed in the air
Thanks TalkAndroid.com for the picture

Wow! This was another hijacked blog post! When I sat down I meant to discuss how repetition doesn’t always lead to improvement. Stay tuned to future posts for that one … if it doesn’t get ambushed again!

So do you ever have discussions with yourself? Which voice in your head is “you”? Do I need to stop reading books on the Oprah booklist?

6 thoughts on “Internal Dialogue”

  1. haha – meant to go there and ended up here. that happens a lot on line to, doesn’t it? I intended to go someplace and then saw a comment and had to check that out and then I liked a photo so decided to see what that person does on pinterest and oh my – really got lost there. and sometimes I want to tell a blogger where I came from to get to their little spot on the blogosphere but honestly, can’t remember the route I took. Those are the best stops sometimes.

    i love your idea of hijacked blog posts. I love a good ramble myself. like once when i stopped in at my brothers for just a minute and ended up hours and hours later, after discussing the universe and everything in it we all ended up dancing with the back up dancers on a Pink Floyd DVD he had going in the background. There may have been a few Vodka Tonics involved. I’m not sure I remember. But it was a hijacked visit.

    I’m not sure which voice in my head is me. I’m not sure which one is spirit. I’m not sure which is conscience. Which is me as a little girl, which is my mother. I kind of like them all and I absolutely agree with you – we have to get quiet to let the whisper bring us around to what is best in us and the world.

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    1. I loved your story about the hijacked visit to your brother’s house! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does things like that!

      Trying to follow the mental breadcrumbs of how I got very far off topic is often a fun, but mainly fruitless exercise.

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  2. Discussions with myself in my head and out loud all the time. Either you’re fine or we’re both crazy. Either way, at least you’re not alone.

    I love that quote. I love that idea. I know I have voices in my head that aren’t mine. I often hear my dad; I’m trying to get better at telling him to shut up. I had a therapist try hard to get us to identify the voice we were hearing. It’s something I’d forgotten about. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. Miss Robin,

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

      It is comforting to know I’m not alone. In sanity or insanity, it’s nice to have company.

      Why is it that other people’s voices are louder than our own? How unfair is that? We should all take a stand and take back our brains! I like you therapist’s idea of identifying the speaker. I’ve never heard it described that way, and it does put things into better perspective.

      Tammy

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  3. I’ve learned the benefits of having discussions out loud or in your head. Your inner critic may be the loudest and first to say something, but if you open the floor to discussion other voices will counteract it. That way you can make sure all sides are heard and all information is given before you make a decision.

    Well, with all this talk of multiple voices inside my head, you’d think I was crazy. But I really do debate with myself the merits and drawbacks of a lot of things. It really does help.

    I love your coin toss trick. Figure out the two options, flip the coin and do whichever one you hope it will land on. Here’s the way I do it. If I have a decision I need to make and I’m having a really hard time figuring out what to do, I take some time to clear my mind so I can approach it in a new way and I ask myself which way I truly want to take. I find that I sometimes make things harder on myself by analyzing the decisions I think I have to make instead of the ones I want to. It almost always leads to greater decision making, quicker decisions and happier outcomes. In a way, it’s like how you do the decision you hope your coin will land on.

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    1. I think you, Miss Robin and I will have adjoining rooms if they do commit people for talking to themselves!

      I love your idea of focusing on the decision I want to make versus what I think I’ve been presented.

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