I started seeing a counselor after I had my last baby (who is 6 years old now). That was the first time I remember being introduced to the idea that our thoughts are separate from us.
I vividly remember a day, shortly after learning this, when I was vigorously mopping the foyer floor, trying to ignore the shame I felt. I was full of rage. For my baby.
Right above me, in his bed, my baby was wailing loudly. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong, he was just putting himself to sleep. He did this. He would cry for about 10 minutes before he would fall into a contented slumber.
But his cry seemed to be 10 times louder to me than to anyone else. So I mopped, trying to distract myself, trying to get out some energy. All of sudden, I remembered to notice my thoughts. “I can’t do this. This is stupid. I’m no good at being a mom. I have NO idea what I’m doing. I should know what’s wrong. I should fix this. I don’t know what to do. I’m so stupid.”
I actually feel somewhat emotional writing those words, realizing that my past self, the one who wanted so badly to be a good mom, who couldn’t see she already was, believed those thoughts. She didn’t know they weren’t real. They weren’t true.
They were what I now call the Voice. Some people call it the Ego. Some people like to name it something like Rhonda or Larry, or say it’s their mom or dad, their 3rd grade teacher, or even Satan.
This Voice are the collection of thoughts we have that aren’t helpful. Sometimes we hear the Voice in the first person, “I should know better.” I hear it a lot in the 3rd person, “He’s thinking, ‘She’s stupid.'” or “She thinks I’m doing this all wrong.” But it’s all the Voice.
When you believe the Voice, you feel small, hopeless, despair, prideful, frustrated, impatient, unloved, not good enough. That’s the sign that you’re believing it.
It’s always running in the background. It’s an effect of our human brain trying to stay safe. It thinks these thoughts are helpful. But they’re not.
So what do you do when you notice yourself believing the Voice? First, name it…That’s the Voice. Next, notice how it makes you feel. Some people find it helpful to dismiss it. “I see you, go away now.” I find it more helpful to see it as irrelevant chatter in the background that I’m now ignoring. It usually just fades away then. Sometimes I write it out and remind myself it’s just hogwash.
It feels really true sometimes because it hits on our deepest fears, our greatest longings, our most vulnerable spots. And a lot of the thoughts are half-truths.
Remember, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness. When you truly feel this way, you know it’s truth.
P.S. Let me help you distinguish the Voice in your head from what’s really true. Sign-up for a free 45-minute Consult. I’ll listen to what’s going on for you and give you some individual coaching specific to you.