“Occasionally she would almost forget what she had learned and make the mistake of doing or giving more rather than less when she was feeling uneasy with herself. Still, always her back or shoulder aches would come to remind her to stop, to go inward at such times to find where she wasn’t loving herself exactly as she was at the moment-unfinished, imperfect, and all.”

“You MUST stop feeling like this!” A big voice inside me shouts,

“Withdraw these negative feelings and replace them with positives no matter what. You can not feel like this, it is absolutely not allowed!

To feel like this is weakness… it is distrusted, unworthy of attention, affection or notice; to feel like this equals rejection. So stop – immediately.”

A little voice inside says, “That makes me feel squashed and unacceptable.”

“It is unacceptable.” The big voice rages

“Oh right.” Says the little voice and goes away feeling unacceptable.

And so I feel unacceptable, because the little voice is actually a big voice. Because the little voice will not content its self with being pushed in the corner. It will be heard.

Meanwhile the big voice tries hard to be nice, pleasant, pleasing, funny, likeable, loveable, warm, marvellous, angelic… perfect, and succeeds mostly, but it doesn’t stop the little voice from feeling unheard.

Fear is added to the little voice. Now it says, “I feel like this [insert feeling] but I had better not because the BIG VOICE will find out and will be all shouty and scary.”

“It’s okay!” sighs the little voice, “I don’t really feel like that [insert feeling]. Just don’t shout at me and I promise not to feel that feeling.”

Then the realisation of the paradox – the big voice is the little voice. The little voice is the big voice! Confusion reigns. How can they be one? How can they be two? How can I make them shut up!?

By listening…

There is a calm place inside me that I can go, where there is quiet, acceptance and peace. There is a wise understanding, compassionate acceptance and an ironic chuckle at the din being created by the voices. It is here that I can go to listen and actually understand what is really going on inside me. By doing this I quiet the noise of feeling like a scaredy cat to life.

Robyn’s words at the top of the page grabbed me as I read them. I realised in a moment that this is exactly what I do when feeling uneasy with myself – I try harder to make the voices quiet, suppressing them with guilt, anxiety and pure stubborness. It’s a vicious cycle when it sets in. But I can take a step back and a step inwards, I can find the calm place where I am able to nurture the little voice. Just the small moment of realisation, of thinking, “hang on – I have a choice here” is a release of tension and it all gets better from there on in. I stop fighting myself and begin to listen.



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