There is little enjoyment in being told what to do. This is where many an offspring takes a detour from that abiding path it walked with its parents. This is where many a loyal employee seeks shelter in extra coffee breaks and "sick days". This is where many a spouse begins building "the wall". Face it, young or old, it just doesn't sit well with us when we are told that we must do something.
It was many years ago, my first week in the Army I observed that the best way to de-humanize someone, was to tell them what they had to do, every minute of every day! It was there, I was told what to wear, when and what I could eat, when I would wake up and when I would sleep. I was told how to stand ("ATTENTION"), I was told when to relax ("AT EASE,SOLDIER"). I was told which way to face ("right face") and worse, 90% of the steps I took, I was told which foot to place on the ground ("left, right ,left"!).In just a week, I asked myself, "who am I?"
It was during those days that a voice from within emerged loud and clear. This was my inner voice. It brought me the songs that warmed my soul, it comforted me when I was wounded, it encouraged me when I needed a double dose of bravery. This voice carried all the words of my sweetheart that I left behind, it kept a count on the days that remained till my tour was up. It entertained me like Bob Hope would entertain the troops, and thus, I was still able to smile and share a laugh with others. As I boarded the bus to return home, my inner voice yelled "Yahoo, you made it, you see, you did it, just like I said you would!"
Since that day, I never argued with my inner voice.
Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my son who was in tears. A relationship that he thought would be "everlasting" came to a screeching halt and smashed into too many bits and pieces to put together again. "I know you are calling me with the hope that I am going to give you some special message that will make this pain go away" I said. "Yes,I can really use something to grasp onto" he said with the sound of despair in his voice. I drew a deep breath and said "I am not the person you should be speaking to. You need to speak with the most intelligent person that I know, a person that I trust will steer you in the right direction". My son paused, "who is that?" he asked . "That extremeley intelligent person is your inner voice! Sit down and listen to that voice that has taken you further than I ever imagined you going. Have a chat with that voice that knows you better than anyone on this planet!"
I explained the answers won't pop up like a magic wand has been waved, but clarity will come with time , and healing with introspection.
We spoke yesterday, he sounds just fine and is moving on with his life, fortifying his resolve and saving his energy for the next possibility.
I just love how that inner voice works!
So, the next time you feel that need to hear someone really intelligent, someone who really knows you....just let that inner voice begin to speak! You'll love what you'll hear!