Who speaks for you?

Yes, this is an odd and extremely strange question to be asking, but humour me.

Have you ever stopped & asked yourself this question?

Who is that person constantly jabbering in your mind (the same one you answer, listen to & even argue with at times)?

Having given it a moment’s thought, what is your answer?

Is it you who speaks for you?

What do you say?

I hear you saying, yes, of course, it’s me speaking for me. Who the hell else could it be?

So it is you doing the constant jabbering & it is you responding. They are both you, & you are arguing with yourself, correct?

Are you the one that says “l am updating my CV because I really want to explore other opportunities“? OR is it the you that says “you don’t have the experience to get a better job, jobs are scarce, so just suck it up & stay where you are, at least you have a job, so be grateful“.

Who runs your life?

Which one do you listen to, and which one carries all the sway in your life?

I ask these seemingly crazy questions because it is very important to acknowledge these often opposing voices (ego “self” and “SELF” as the greater SELF, sometimes called the spiritual self). Let’s not align spiritual SELF directly with religion, however, since these are certainly not the same.

Both voices have value. Unfortunately far too often we either work hard to silence the ego “self” through mindfulness & meditation, or we only listen to the ego “self”, entirely ignoring the wisdom of SELF (you know the same wisdom that runs your body 24/7 – quite successfully in most of our cases).

In fact, many of us have totally stopped hearing the silenced voice of spirit SELF. Yet both are so vital & your ability to hear, to listen to both, is so intricately intertwined with your humanness.

Ego “self”

I am a firm believer in meditation & the role that silencing that ever chattering ego “self” plays. This cannot, however, always come at the cost of the ego “self”. Often we work hard at silencing or shutting out the ego voice & for anyone that’s tried this, well, the voice simply gets louder & louder. That’s because its primary role is to keep you safe, not necessarily happy. So trying to shut it down is about as useful as trying to stop the sun from rising. Rather notice what it has to say & if you are anything like me, you thank it for working so hard at keeping you safe. Please don’t believe this as the only possible truth though, because remember its primary role is your safety, NOT your happiness.

What I found

I found that once I take the necessary time to notice what ego “self” has to say, there comes a point at which I simply surrender to the voice of “SELF”, while gently thanking that never-silent, panicky, wise little safety focussed “self” for caring so much for me & then just breathe.

Knowing that I have done all I can, with what I have, from where I am, I surrender to my wiser, less panicky SELF & I wait, allowing life to unfold. Rather than resisting events which don’t go my way, I trust my wiser SELF to know exactly how life should be unfolding & I search for the gift in the situation. All situations can be postcards from SELF if we just take the time to look rather than spending all our energy fighting something we often cannot change.

Not giving up

This surrender I speak of is definitely NOT giving up. It’s knowing that you have done all you can, with what you have, from where you are. Only then do you surrender to something far greater than “self”.

I spent so much time listening to “self”, working hard at controlling unpredictable situations, resisting & fighting circumstances entirely out of my direct control, as if there was no greater wisdom to guide me along the way. As if without all the intellect of my ever-chatty “self” I would be forever doomed.

2022, oh what a journey

My 2022 personal journey has “oh frikken hell” left me wondering what I am supposed to be seeing or learning. I fought what I was experiencing with all I had – Mom ill, I mean seriously ill, with a debilitating disease, Dad in hospital for what was meant to be 12 days, now at 4 months, leaving my sister & I in the totally bewildering space of caring for Mom 24/7, until we simply couldn’t anymore & were forced to get carers in.

Enter that shady character called “guilt”. I see it arriving with bags in hand. I meet it at the door, I thank it for reminding me to do all I can with what I have, from where I am & I close the door. I can only do this because I am surrendering to SELF. I am not getting caught up listening to that ever-knowing, often critical voice of “self”.

As I sit here typing, my Dad is in ICU & has just been taken in for a brain scan. So the journey continues. I continue to surrender.

My best-loved aunt (Dad’s older sister) passed away under strange circumstances (a long story for another day). My first “adult” pet, Toby, my boy, got diagnosed with cancer & transitioned while I was away for work in Dubai. So what the hell was I supposed to be learning? What was I not seeing?

Listening to “self” throughout this time only resulted in frustration & an ongoing state of uncertainty. Why could they not find a damn cure for MSA? Why did a simple bypass result in 4 months in ICU & now a brain scan? This was not my life. My parents were always healthy, they were financially totally independent & becoming their carers with no ability to change the outcomes was definitely not part of the plan.

Questions, questions

How can I stay fully awake when it hurts? Why am I so afraid of slowing down to listen to SELF? What will it take for my longing to grow to become stronger than my fear of change? Because shit, my whole world, or at least some very core aspects of my world are shifting faster than I could begin to comprehend, bringing closer & closer that really scary emotional thing that could not simply be “fixed”. “Ego “self” & I were doing a wild tango attempting to find a resolution to this problem.

It is said that our souls come to this earth to learn lessons, not to get married, or to stay married, or to take this job or that job. If you think this is the case, you have been asking yourself the wrong question. The real question is “what lesson does your soul want to learn?”

I found that I was not dealing with a “problem” to be solved. It was an opportunity to “see”. Not the kind of seeing that comes from the eyes, but rather the kind that comes from deep inside & changes you forever. Through the pain, the turmoil, the tears & the continued uncertainty, I am finding a piece of me that has never been seen.

It took time to silence the rantings of “self” & hear the voice of “Self”, offering me the gift hidden in these extremely unpleasant & painful circumstances. I realised that a secret treasure waited for me right at the bottom of my most difficult times, a treasure that would allow more wholeness than anything “self” & I could ever have fathomed.

Rumi states that the irony of hiding the dark side of our humanness is that our secret is not really a secret at all. How can it be when we are all safeguarding the very same story?

This blog is not about what I “saw” when I eventually took the time to look, to listen. It’s an invitation to ask yourself, who speaks for you?

In the end

When you hide, you miss out.

Don’t sacrifice “Self”, don’t abandon “self”. Both have something to contribute. One voice is simply far too loud, while the other seldom gets the time of day.

“If there is one thing that has made a difference in my life, it was the courage to turn & face what wanted to change within me” – Elizabeth Lesser.

 

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