The Voice in Your Head
Byron Katie tells a story in “Loving What Is” about her
three-year-old grandson, Race, who wanted a Darth Vader toy that talked;
despite the fact that he had never seen Star Wars, nor did he know who Darth
Vader was. Being the dutiful grandmother, she got him one. When you put a coin into it, he would say in that air compressed voice, “Impressive, but you are not a Jedi yet.” Upon hearing this, not knowing what a Jedi was, or why you would even want to be one, the little guy was disappointed in himself because he was not yet a Jedi. Darth Vader himself said so.
Grandma offered that he could be her little Jedi, but he insisted that he was not. So a friend of hers who was a pilot, upon hearing the story, hatched an idea.
Byron and her grandson would go up in his plane to fly over the valley. When they landed, the pilot and ground crew declared little Race a Jedi, and Grandma asked again if he was her little Jedi. You could tell the thought of actually being a Jedi was incredibly exciting for the little guy, but he would not answer. With great anticipation they headed for home and when the coin was dropped, Darth predictably growled in his raspy voice, “Impressive, but you are not a Jedi, yet.” Racey’s little face dropped, the enthusiasm had vanished, and he STILL was not a Jedi. Whatever it was that he needed to do to be a Jedi had not been achieved. It seemed little Race would never be a Jedi, at least as long as he listened to Darth Vader.
Does the Voice in your head resemble Darth Vader? Someone whose thoughts, opinions, and judgements you took as absolute truth, regardless of how inaccurate, misguided, or cruel they might be?
Whose voice is it that tells you you’re not good enough, smart enough, and talented enough? Whose voice is it that tells you things need to be done THIS way? Whose voice judges the people that you see as less than you or more than you for that matter?
Initially, you may think the voice is yours and yours alone, but you can use mindfulness to investigate further and you may discover that the voice in your head is a compilation of attitudes, beliefs, and judgments that others used on you, or around you, to influence you in one way or another. Or, they were just perpetuating the myths that they themselves heard and never questioned. They are not the truth. They are likely opinions, misinterpretations, or lies. Who have you given the authority of your thoughts over to; friends, a lover, your church, your boss, your family members, your political party or Hollywood?
Cultivating conscious awareness will help you to begin to identify those voices and to question their validity. When you can hear those voices, knowing they are not you and don’t represent your true feelings, and hold them with an attitude of compassion for yourself and the person or group who inflicted them on you, you are on your way to discovering, speaking, and living your own truth.
Pay attention to the next time you hear something that makes you cringe. Consider that the cringe is your better judgment, your intuition, or your bullshit detection meter going off. Then respond accordingly and honestly. You will thank yourself for it. You are now a Jedi.