Use Your Inside Voice

A few years back it was popular for parents to remind their children to be quiet by saying: “Johnny, use your inside voice!”

Back in the old days children were to be seen and not heard. So it was an improvement when parents started to remind their children to keep the decibel level down so that others could be heard.

But the other day I caught myself using another kind of inside voice – the voice that is usually rattling around in my head, and sometimes makes its way into the public realm.

I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it was probably my monkey mind chattering away about how I “should” have done something, or how I was “stupid” for thinking or acting in one way or another.

We all have this inside voice. It’s a voice that criticizes us, and keeps us small as much as possible. But when we make this voice known to the outside world, we become what Ernest Holmes referred to as a spiritual broadcasting station. And in fact, whether we verbalize those words or not, doesn’t matter. The consciousness that is around us picks it up, and the world responds in accordance. Tell ourselves often enough that we are not worthy, and everything speaks those words without us even having to utter a thing.

For many of us, we grew up in an era when giving ourselves “a good talking to” was just what was expected. I firmly believed then that talking to myself in this manner was a way of pulling me up by my proverbial bootstraps. But it never really worked. In truth, it usually made me feel worse, and often so much so that I literally gave up. A bit like Aesop’s fable of the fox and the grapes – I would tell myself I didn’t want it anyway, and then walk away from it. But those grapes would continue to tempt me again and again because there was something about them that I truly did want.

Now rather than berate myself, I give myself a firm talking to, from the positive. I remind myself that I am worthy, that anything that comes to me I am capable of handling. That life is “for” me, not “against” me. This allows me to expand my consciousness into a place of openness where there is room for new ideas to come in.

This is another voice from the inside, but it’s not what I would call my inside voice – it’s my higher voice. This higher voice truly knows what I want, but it only arrives when I invite it to speak. And I can only hear it, when I’ve already made the decision to ask, and have prepared my mind to listen.

Our inside voice has a purpose and really it is limited to keeping us safe. If there is danger, we want that inside voice to speak loudly, and we need to listen, and listen fast. Other than that, it’s a voice of eternal chatter, quickly silenced when we ask our higher voice for its opinion.

So, Johnny, use your inside voice if you choose, but if you really want to be your biggest self, speak and act as much in accordance with your higher voice. It’s so much sweeter.


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