We internalize voices of people —
people near, people far,
people recent, people long past,
people who affirmed, people who criticized.
Sometimes, we carry these voices around for a long time.
Who is telling you about you recently? In your own mind, whose voices are chiming up? If we could see a pie chart, what percentage of time and space do those voices take up in our thinking? In our processing? In our feelings? In our beliefs about what is possible?
This may be something to consider, because I know that in many cases, we privilege the most critical voices, at times, even the ones who were completely wrong in their criticisms.
Maybe we need to turn this completely in the opposite direction. How can we privilege the voices of those who gave affirmation? Those who challenged us because they believed in us? Those who opened up our perspectives on the world? Those who helped us find a calling larger than ourselves? Those who loved us no matter what? Those who created space for us to be ourselves – including opportunities to try things and fail, and get back up again?
Though we are each one person, we are made of these many parts. As we negotiate these, in a real sense, we are in relationship with ourselves. So how do we integrate the best voices into our own internal voice?
It’s good to give these more airtime.