I have two voices inside my head.
One, the negative, discourager voice sometimes says things like:
"You'll never have good posture. Just look at the way people suddenly stand up straight around you when they talk to you, giving you the hint to pull your shoulders back and not slouch."
"Why have you allowed and continue to allow this house to become such a mess, such a wreck? You are letting things go more than ever."
"Stop making this excuse of it being too cold outside in the mornings to not run; not even once this week. You don't seem to care anymore. All it is is laziness."
"The only way you seem to interact with these kids is with your constant nagging, drill-sergeant ways. That's all they'll remember of you."
"This anatomy just keeps getting harder and harder. How are you ever going to remember it all and keep up?"
"You aren't and never will be good enough. Or lovable enough."
But the other one, the voice that is becoming ever more present, even crowding out those ugly words that sometimes bring me down and bring on the tears and bring me to my knees are those positive, building, and encouraging words.
"It's so good how you smiled, genuinely listened, and found real joy today when the owner of that Indian market wanted to talk and talk to you and show you all the interesting things in his store. How he smiled and smiled at you. Your love and warmth for people shows."
"You have demonstrated that you really are and have it in you to become a good student. You are diligent. You are a lover of learning. You are an intelligent woman. Just look how well you've done on all these tests so far. "
"Miracles, answers, and wonders just keep happening over and over in your life. In their lives."
"Your touch is not only therapeutic but flows with awareness, with love, and with peace. You have this gift of facilitating healing within you."
"You have been so faithful with writing each week to your missionary son. Putting your whole heart and soul into these letters to him. You care."
"You take beautiful, artful photographs. Photographs filled with soul."
My awareness and consciousness of these powerful voices, especially the negative voice, has increased as I've gotten older and (hopefully) a little wiser. I guess the best way you could describe it would be that I've learned to step back from myself almost as an outsider and notice the voices, become aware of them, and understand that these are just thoughts. They are not who I really am. Having the knowledge that I am not my thoughts helps me feel safe, like I am in a little bubble of protection and security.
It seems like the positive voice--really, a presence of truth-- has become ever stronger this year of my life. I believe this change has been brought about because of the ever increasing habit of incorporating gratitude into my life. Focusing on the beauties in my life; the generosity and goodness in the world that's there and always has been. Coming to understand and recognize that through these powerful, positive thoughts, through faith, unwavering belief, and the power of joy and love, I can attract good things into my life. I can feel them into being.
Coming to an understanding that when there's light, when there's truth-- darkness just naturally gets crowded out.
A couple of months ago, Eliza depicted these very ideas in her art journal. Just for fun. Here, she calls the positive voice, her inspiration-- her "Motivator". I love the sound of that and I love the symbolism her image became of a sweet, kind, and peaceful Angel of Golden Light.
I love how she thoughtfully describes and visualizes this concept, her vision through this avenue of creative expression.
I get where she's coming from
and it makes my heart even happier.
"For this journal entry, I tried to draw how I imagine my "inner motivator." This motivator is made up of all of the positive, happy feelings as I create art. I depicted these inner inspirations as an angel of golden light, her arms outstretched to share her happiness and confidence in my abilities. I used mixed media for this journal page and used newspaper clippings of uplifting words to show the positive feelings in my heart when I create."
"On the opposite page, I painted a person to represent my "inner critic." This depicts those thoughts in the back of my head that criticize myself as I draw. The light from the Motivator is spreading across the page, blocking out the face of the critic. This represents my optimistic side striving to cover the negative thoughts I have when I criticize myself."
"I really enjoyed creating this journal entry. It helped me to realize that when you focus on the positive, your weaknesses will eventually become your strengths."