Photo by the beautiful Sharon Johnson
You know that voice inside your head, the one that tells you, "You're not good enough!"? The one that says, "Don't even try!" or "Why bother?" I hate that voice.
It seems like this voice has been my companion since I can remember. It started for no apparent reason when I was younger. It seemed as I got into my teenage years, it only got louder and louder. Now that I am approaching thirty, it seems like it is getting more and more muffled. Either that or I have tried to punch that voice in the gonads so many times, it is sounding like a twelve year old boy in puberty. It is probably a combination of the gonad punching along with the fact that I realize that I don't have to always follow the -rules- of the voice.
Guess what? I can!
I am seriously amazed at the person I have become in the past year. The past almost three years really. Three years ago I would never have stood up for myself in any arena. Not at the grocery store, not in my business practices, not at church. Today? I am the complete opposite. I no longer listen to that voice that tells me, "You can't say that!". I do say that and I am happier for it.
A couple of months ago I was at a church function. If any of you know me, you know that I say what I think. I wouldn't go as far as to say I don't have a filter unless of course maybe you were at church on Sunday when I got up to bear my testimony and I may or may not have said and I quote, "Although I am sure my husband wishes I would fulfill more of his needs." And that folks could have been and probably was taken out of context. I promise you that I did not mean to say it in that way. Anyway, I do have a filter, it is just sometimes it is dirty or I leave it at home...but at this particular function, I was being, well, just me. For some reason or another the conversation went a little random, and people began talking about, 'you're only as old as you feel' blah blah blah. I mentioned that I felt like I was still in junior high. This girl sitting next to me, stone faced, non-jokingly says to me, "It is because you act like you are in junior high." I am pretty sure I was suppose to take offence to that statement. Usually that voice inside my head would have said, "Shut up...she is right, you are immature, knock it off, you can't be that way." Instead, I laughed. I laughed hard. I realized in that moment that I would rather be happy, have my sense of humor, enjoy life and have everyone think I was immature rather than to be stuffy, 'perfect', or 30. This, along with many moments changed me.
I do wish, however, that I had the body of a teenager, a ninth grade teenager (maybe if she was an 'early bloomer') then I would have taken the comment to the extreme, jumped up on the table and partied like it was 1999.
I digress. We were talking about that voice that I punch in the gonads. Well this voice, he is responsible for all the years I was never late to class. All the years I didn't take time to just miss the school bus. All the years I just didn't even make dinner for my family because I couldn't be as good at it as 'so and so'. This voice is the reason I stayed in the back of the room and didn't participate in the group because 'I wouldn't have anything great to add'. The voice that made me think I wasn't skinny enough, or pretty enough to have the popular guys ask me out. This same voice was responsible for me making the first few years of my marriage to my husband living hell. That voice said things to me like, "He doesn't love you.", "He will cheat on you just like your dad did.", "He says he loves you now, but...". That voice ruined SO much for me. So much precious, precious time has been wasted by listening to him. He is responsible for my anxiety, my depression, my weight, for not ever getting my photography website up, for neglecting my family, my children, my husband, my LIFE.
Do you readers...do you have a voice like that? Have you given that voice a good gonad punch lately? I just slapped mine to the curb.
From now on it is just me, and the voice that says "You can!". The voice that tells me, "You are beautiful!", "You are smart.", "You are talented.", "You can do hard things.", "You are brave.", "You are loved.", "You can do it all." I like this voice. A LOT.