Gran's Apple Butter Blog

April 26, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Voices (5/VII)

Filed under: Books,Emotions,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Inner Child,Packing,Planning,Preparing,Self-sabotage,Voices — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 10:35 am

Chapter 5 ~ Voices
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

This is also the stage in our journey when we integrate all those voices in our heads that drag us first one way and then the other. Gran said this can be such a big job it almost counts as a whole trip in itself.

Our lives will show us if we need to dig for these voices, Gran said. Maybe we do things we don’t understand, that contradict other things we want to do, or maybe we feel empty inside, like we can’t connect with anything or anyone around us. Maybe we get close to reaching our dream, then at the last minute we pull our punch and walk away. 

If we could hear those voices outright, we could tell them they’re wrong. But until we figure out which voices our subconscious is listening to, where they’re coming from and what they’re saying, we’ll get closer and closer home, Gran said, almost there, and then they’ll yank the rug out from under our feet. It’s called self-sabotage, and we do it all the time, at least until we get those voices figured out.

I didn’t think I had any voices in my head, but Gran said everyone does. They get stuck in there as we grow up, listening to everyone around us talk about how things should be, how we should be, how life should be. They come from our families, our teachers, our friends, headlines at the grocery story, late night TV, and even people we don’t like very much.

Blowing through our minds on whatever wind happens to be prevailing, these voices don’t all agree. One says Go to work, another says Stay home, one says Be a star, the other says Stay small. It’s a wonder we don’t go crazy listening to all that. Generally, we think we’re balancing them quite well, if we’ve even aware of them at all. We’ve listened to these words for so long we start to think we said them – that’s the tricky part.

We work hard to meet the goals of Mr. Over-Achiever (Do more! Do it better! Do it now!), then right as we get to the door of success, something trips us up, and we topple over into the Slough of Despond, never knowing why.[i]  Gran said that’s because we didn’t notice the second voice, Mr. You’ll-Never-Make-it, who snuck in with Mr. Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are and tipped over the ladder we were climbing.

Some of these voices tell us things we needed to hear at one time, Gran said. Some carry beliefs we no longer hold. Others weren’t even meant for us – we just overheard ‘em and invited ‘em in. And some of the voices that were meant for us weren’t necessarily meant for our highest good, or maybe the person behind that voice didn’t really understand what he was saying.

One voice Gran discovered came from her parents. Well-intentioned but wrong, they were teaching her that her body was something to hide, to cover, to control. Gran didn’t remember this as a grown-up, but her inner child sure did. She was still crying about it years later until Gran unlocked that door, rocked her tears away, then took her dancing to celebrate.

Just like our memories, we can’t let go of these voices until we identify them, Gran said – each and every one of ‘em. She’d found three-hundred-and-seventy-two at last count, including some that totally surprised her, and a few that were pretty shocked when she showed up.

Each time we find a new voice, we get to choose whether it rides in the front seat where we can hear it, or in the back, where we can’t, ‘cause you can be sure it’s going to tag along. If we’re smart, we’ll put the helpful ones up front and let the others know they’re on permanent hiatus. They can talk all they want, but we’re not listening.

We can also decide how much room in our suitcase each voice gets. We want to be discriminating, Gran said, ‘cause that suitcase can get awfully heavy when we’re packing for that many people. And if that wind keeps blowing, just roll down the window and let it on through.

[i] One of the traps in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
NOW AVAILABLE: Going Home, The E-Book & Going Home: The Tour LIVE – 2 CD set – Mikey and Gran’s story put to music!


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