I realized today that there are really two inner voices. The louder voice is the one that rattles through my head with statements like:
Why did x happen?
What could I have done to prevent x from happening?
What can I do to achieve x?
Much of this thought content is focused on relationships, social reflections, or acheivement.
What I now realize is that behind each of these voices, there is another voice that is constantly at work. I always knew that this voice existed, since I could tap into it with exercises like Focusing or journaling, but what I am now realizing is that it is just as much a constant voice as my Inner Voice, it’s just not quite a loud.
I’ll call it my Inner Motivating Voice. This is the voice that is sitting there quietly, and motivating all of the planning and ruminating that my Inner Voice is doing. This Inner Motivating Voice is always there, and we can tap into it, but backwards engineering the Inner Voice, and asking why we are concerning ourselves with whatever we find ourselves thinking about.
Like I said earlier, what is new here to me is not that this Inner Motivating Voice exists, but a dawning realization that this is the backdrop behind all of my thinking overall – and it is a steady state of thoughts.
More importantly, while I thought that what tired me out about thinking was the Inner Voice, the reality is that I have been blaming the wrong voice the whole time. What tires me, is the Inner Motivating Voice, which is always calling for protection from this or that, or desires for this or that.
Alcohol seems to dull our ability to hear this Inner Motivating Voice, which in turn quiets the Inner Voice, I would expect. This is why we are less inhibited, or less anxious, when we drink. We can’t quite hear that warning from within.
But really the important thing I am learning is that this voice is constantly chattering away, weighing me down with it’s unrelenting noise. And I have spent a long time trying to quiet the wrong voice, and placing blame on the wrong voice, with limited results. Now I know why.
I think this is such an important discovery, because these Inner Motivating Voices can be better quieted/self-calmed by listening to them, and answering the question that they are asking us. It’s an exercise in fixing the source of the problem, rather than dealing with the impacts of the problem. Many of these underlying fears and protective needs are based on false assumptions, so once we can help ourselves recognize and see the truth for what it really is, the Inner Motivating Voice can step back and relax and let go of it’s tight grip on our psyche.
From a meditation perspective, I can also focus on sitting calmly with this Inner Motivating Voice. I find that breathing with it, allows it to calm down. And it is this aware voice that benefits most from being brought to presence.
Today is a big day for me.