Received wisdom tells us that hearing voices is the first sign of madness. This is nonsense. Everyone hears voices – families, friends, exes, coaches, bullies … they all play a part in making up our consciousness or ‘inner voice’.
You may be more or less aware of your own voice – but whether it shouts or whispers, it tells us who we are and these beliefs then determine our choices. Take a second to listen to it. What’s its tone? Indulgent? Critical? Affirming? Disappointed? Perhaps it sounds like someone you know: your parents – or a teacher at school. Our childhood messages can be especially significant – the past echoing in the present.
Keep your anger to yourself’
‘Stop showing off’
‘You deserve the best’
‘Why can’t you be more like..’
Listen again: if your inner voice were an actual person, would they be someone you’d like to spend time with? Are they positive – or negative? How do they criticise – and encourage you? If you could alter what they were saying, what would you change? Would such change be welcome – or are they so familiar that this seems impossible?
But what if you’re not what you tell yourself? Or what others have called you? What if you’re far worse – and far better – than you could ever imagine? What if someone put a price on your head – the price of their life? And how about if that person was someone really important: bigger than the Queen, or the President or anyone else who ever lived? How about if that Person told you that you belonged to Him, that He loved you with an everlasting love and that no-one and nothing could take you from Him?
Would that make a difference?