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That Still, Small Voice

January 10, 2019

 

Do you hear that?  That small (or not so much) annoying voice that keeps telling you that you can't achieve your goals.  The one that tries to talk over the nudges from within that remind you just often enough what you were made to do.  The voice that says that we aren't good enough and that anything touch will fall to pieces.  

 

Steven Pressfield, the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and The War of Art calls that the voice of resistance.  He says that any time we are on the verge of transformation or a major positive shift, that resistance kicks in and tries at all costs to keep us from being who we truly are.  Depending on one's worldview, that may be called "the enemy" or Satan that is preventing us from doing God's will.  I think this view rather externalizes the struggle and prevents us from seeing the self work that needs to be done in order to live into our calling.

 

As I thought about this resistance, it occurred to me that it is the voice of the ego - this "almost other" or false self that we have created and conditioned from birth to protect us against our deepest fears.  We develop this mindset that if we never try, then we can never fail.  The problem is that there is always at least some awareness of who we are meant to be.  Each day that we spend being someone who we aren't and avoiding what's real just creates more existential angst and inner pain.

 

One important thing that Pressfield reminds us is that, whatever that voice of resistance may be, it is not our voice.  That is, our True Self would never tell us that we can't do something that we were clearly called to.  The voice doesn't speak truth, it merely tries to slow us down.  So, that leads us to the question of how to overcome or quiet that voice.

 

Many of us freeze up in a state of panic whenever we hear that devil on our shoulder whispering in our ear that complacency is the safe bet.  At best, we choose a state of pseudo-contentment, and at worst we completely self destruct.  How about a different approach?  If we know that the voice isn't us (nor is it accurate) or that the metaphorical bullets are just blanks, then why not move forward anyway?  

 

Too often we are wasting our time waiting for the voice to leave us alone so that we can finally act.  Instead, let's act our way into a state of belief based on affirmation and results.  

 

Here we are 10 days into the new year and, undoubtedly, we all have resolutions that are lying in a state of slow decay upon the threshold between possibility and a beautiful reality.  For our own sake, for the sake of the world, let's make it happen and birth our potential into a world that sorely needs it.

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