Dear Sweet E, what’s an inner voice and where can you find yours? Mrs. Tucker is here to help, baby.
For all my years, I’ve had a strong inner-voice. Long before it became conventional wisdom to listen to that voice, I instinctively knew that I should pay attention as something important, something I couldn’t yet articulate, was happening.
The list of times I’ve been led in the right direction by my inner-voice is well-known to those around me. To some, the fabled inner-voice is nothing more than a sign of mental instability or grandiose self-absorption. To me, it is a combination of experience, intuition and God.
While the voice within me is strong and, well, vocal, to many it isn’t. How does one go about cultivating that voice ?
Pay attention to body signals: There are lots of situations that beg for paying attention to keep us safe.
Do you know how to read other people’s body language? Can you recognize when someone is upset or happy or irritated? This is where experience helps. Practice observing facial expressions and body gestures when around others to become familiar with dangerous situations.
Paying attention to your own body can be helpful, too. Are you tense around, or move away from, certain people? Is something about them making you feel uncomfortable? Are you feeling unwell or exhausted, yet keep pushing yourself? Is your gut telling you to rest, but you push the thought aside? Signs of discomfort are part of our inner voice.
Listen to a combination of your intuition and experience: Sweet E, if I were to tell you that no one loved you, not one signal person in this whole wide world, would your first inner-reaction be: Oh, Mrs. Tucker, you cray-cray! You love me! Or would it be: How horrible! No one loves me? Of course it would be the first, because your intuition is based on your experience of my endless love for you.
This also happens on a smaller scale when you hear/see/read something that doesn’t jive with what you know to be true, based on your life experience and intuition. We tend to discount the smaller inner nudges. Don’t do that. Listen. Think. Ask yourself why you had that small nudge. They are as important as the big ones.
Trust: Once you’ve found it, how will you know if your inner voice can be trusted? For me, trust and God go hand in hand. I have faith that my voice is there to guide. But, how did I come to that faith? By searching my inner voice for truth. Have I followed my inner voice to poor choices? Has my inner voice served to help me make better choices? If it’s the former, more quiet attention needs to be paid. If it’s the latter, BRAVO! You’ve found your inner voice.
Finding and honing your inner voice is a skill-set; one must practice at listening and paying attention.
Once you do that, sweet boy, it will serve you the rest of your life.