NOTE: This post was also published in Some Talk of You and Me http://sometalkofyouandme.com/2015/04/24/making-friends-with-myself-shari-sachs/
A cacophony of Voices, that tell you, you can’t, you’re no good, who would want you anyway, you’re too fat/thin/ugly/stupid. Etc., etc., etc.
Voices that beat you up for something you ostensibly did bad, wrong or so they say. Voices that tell you to worry, to be wary, be afraid. BE CAREFUL.
Then there is the Voice named GUILT, the one named SHAME, the one named SELF-LOATHING.
Need I go on?
Sometimes, however, there is one Voice that stands out amongst the rest refusing to relent, holding you hostage to it’s incessant chant, drowning out the others.
I have been wrestling with this Voice of mine for a very long time now, but especially so in the last years. I’m pretty sure that voice is echoing my ego, that part of me that might die if it didn’t have physical form and the limitations that come with it to attach to.
Egos, you see, are not the bedfellows of Spirit. They do not naturally “peacefully co-exist.” Egos battle Spirit in a frenzied, “by any means necessary” way to stay alive. Even if it means killing you.
The battle between my ego and spirit culminated a few years back when life as I knew it began to systematically dismantle before my very eyes forcing me to “dis-identify” with more and more of the roles, expectations and material things that had defined me for the better part of a fifty something plus lifetime.
As I encountered this erosion of my ego the Voice simultaneously got louder and louder – and louder.
It no longer stopped after slinging just one or two negative digs my way; instead it assembled an ensemble of searing insults, put downs and self loathing commentary as an assault against my higher self that was desperately trying to edge it out.
Sometimes it got so loud that I couldn’t hear anything else. Sometimes it drowned everything else out to the point where I actually believed what it is saying. That was the point when I either would make stupid decisions, sabotage myself or keep myself small and from my own power.
Which of course, is just what “the Voice” wanted. And I really couldn’t blame it. After all, it was fighting for its survival.
But on a recent morning it was different. I think she – the Voice personified — must have been having a weak moment because she was not on her usual full frontal attack. Instead she quietly introduced herself to me like someone who really wanted to know me and wasn’t sure I felt the same.
To my surprise, she was not practicing the usual guerrilla warfare I had come to expect. In fact, she was actually quite endearing.
“I’m Esmeralda” she whispered in my ear, gently announcing herself.
That’s right. Esmeralda.
After some minutes of chatting, I realized all she really wanted was love and a little bit of attention, maybe some validation. Yes, she acted like a brat to get it, but only because she knew no other way.
I realized that beneath the bravado and the bullying, all she really wanted was a hug.
So I hugged her. And when I did, it dawned on me that the more we try to extinguish something the harder it fights to stay alive.
I wondered, could it be that sometimes in our quest to get to know our higher selves we forget that we still need our egos? Or they still need us. Or both.
After all, the ego is the “instrument” which enables us to do the things we came to do in this Earthly world. There may come a time when we may not need them anymore but so long as we are in physical form they are with us for the ride.
They, and the bodies that go with it, are what allows us to see and hear and feel and sense beauty and grandeur and even the drama and pain that is all part of being alive in this physical world.
So why not befriend and embrace it? Just recognize it plays a supporting role instead of a leading one? Humor it when it tries to tell you what you can’t do and what you are not. Know that it’s just being silly and fighting to stay alive.
And so that’s what I did. I made her my friend. Esmerelda and I are now buds, bedfellows. She still likes to act up from time to time and pretend she’s in control. And sometimes I bite. But not for long. And when I come to my senses, I just stop and give her a hug, and tell her I love her. It’s as easy as that!