A mean, hurtful little asshole. Seriously, if a friend talked to you like that, you would definitely call them an asshole, wouldn’t you? If they discouraged you, demeaned you, insulted you, picked at every imperfection, filled you with doubt and fear, would you stand there and take it?
Maybe you would. But when they walked away you’d say Sheesh, that guy’s a real asshole. And maybe you’d stop spending time with them. Or at the very least, stop valuing their opinions or following their advice.
Don’t worry, you’re (probably) not an asshole, because that particular voice inside your head is not actually your own. It is the cumulative voice of every word you’ve ever heard, every experience you’ve ever had, every single thing you’ve ever processed in your brain and in your body. That’s the voice of Society. Of Family. Of your teachers, elders, coworkers, peers. Of all outside influence. Of All Others.
It’s the voice of the past. And while it does remember all of the good things, it also remembers every awkward moment, slight, failure, every hurt feeling, every difficult experience, every time you felt undeserving, and less than. Every time someone told you, implied, or hinted that you shouldn’t or couldn’t. Every single media message you’ve subconsciously absorbed. Every bit of dogma, and social construct that was put upon you since birth. Each and every past moment of your life is wrapped up, tangled up, twisted up in that voice.
That is not your true and present voice.
The only way to hear your true and present voice is to strip away everything else. To clear away all past moments, and to be present. To sit quietly, unplugged, unattached. To allow yourself to float off, untethered. To listen to the silence.
Somewhere inside of you in the deepest recesses of your mind there is a wide open space! That is where your authentic voice lives. Once you find it, you can sing. You can scream. You can speak freely. You can live authentically. Without pretense. Without pressure. Without doubt and insecurity. Without fear.
And once you find that space you can know, really know, that you, my friend, are a perfectly fine human specimen. Miraculously alive. Beautifully flawed. More than enough. Perfectly you. Every single thing about you is just as it is, and that is just as it should be right now. Move forward from that wide open space.
Don’t listen to that little asshole.