It’s easy to imagine you are the voice in your head. After all, it comes from somewhere inside you.
You’ve lived with self-talk for so long you barely recognize it exists. When it speaks, you listen. You don’t argue or say “let’s think about this differently.” If it says you aren’t up-to-scratch or should behave better, you are discouraged and upset.
If a stranger talked to you comparably, you would scoff rather than believe disparaging remarks. And if a friend dared speak to you similarly, they wouldn’t remain your pal for long.
You don’t question the validity of your inner voice because you think it’s you. The real you, though, is the one who hears self-talk. You are the listener. The observer of life.
What is self-talk?
Your inner voice reflects your beliefs, including fears and hopes. It’s a guidance system when used productively rather than a cause of pain.
If the voice suggests you aren’t good enough, it signals you feel ill-prepared or lack confidence. If it say’s you’re bored, it signals a lack of direction. Look beneath it for the hidden meaning conveyed and your self-awareness will grow.
Get in-touch with the real you
You can recognize the real you when you catch yourself listening. As your inner voice speaks, be aware the “you” that listens is separate from the voice.
Another way to connect with your true self is by experiencing your surroundings in silence — not just outer silence but inner noiselessness. When self-talk stops all that remains is you as the observer, or witness of what’s going on inside and outside of you.
Take deep breaths and follow the air as it moves in and out your body and you might become aware of yourself as the observer. Or recognize the gap between breaths when your inner voice is quiet and stillness prevails.
Just as you aren’t your inner voice, you are not your brain. Indeed, you are not your body any more than you are your car, your computer, or phone.
When you stop identifying with self-talk and your body, you’ll be free to recognize your original self, which people sometimes call their “higher selves.” It’s not really a part of them that’s higher up, though. It’s the real them, unhampered by illusions.
Philosophers and gurus throughout the ages mention humans are much more than they seem. The illusory self you can observe is formed from misunderstandings about reality and is your personality or ego — terms which are also fantasies but help us describe our made-up characters.
Sages sometimes strip back their personas, layer by layer, to uncover their true selves. They acknowledge self-talk, but understand it isn’t the truth. They know it’s made from memes and illusions that serve as limitations of the soul.
To reach their true selves, which aren’t separate from anyone else, wise folk meditate, detach from cravings, and find the middle ground between liking and disliking things. As a result, their personas fade and more experiences of their real nature, the one found in the gaps between breaths come to light.
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Copyright © 2019 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved