Choices with the Voices…

choices with voices

It is everywhere these days…learning we have the power to change our future by changing our beliefs. I discussed these “voices” in our heads that prattle on at length in “Why Me?” I have suggested in previous articles that we challenge those voices to establish our own value system.

So how do we do that? First, whose voice is it that you hear in your mind when resistance arises at a new idea? Perhaps it is a parent, teacher, minister, sibling, friend, etc. What does the voice say? “What makes you think you could ever do/be/have that? – Remember last time when you failed? – How stupid did you feel?” And we reflect on those voices and can cower to their demands.

Second, changing your beliefs about your new possibilities doesn’t mean placing a guilt trip on those people. In the past, it may have been their responsibility to protect you. Perhaps it was their responsibility to teach/influence you or perhaps they may have needed to control you, even criticize you. We don’t need to accept second-best because we’re afraid of criticism from the people who instilled that little voice. Healthy compromise is about releasing that person to be who they choose to be without obligation on their part or yours.

Reflection on the “programming” these people gave us can be done by “walking in the other person’s moccasins.” We can ask “Can I see their point of view?” “Can I appreciate why they might have said what they did or felt as they did?” If they are still alive we can ask, “How can I let them better understand my dreams and who I am now?” It could be useful to speak to them in person if their influence and your feelings are strong. What they said back then may have been good advice for “back then”.

The more passionate we are about our own viewpoint and future, the greater the challenge of a separation from the very people we may need in our lives. Being “pig-headed” and argumentative towards their opinion will destroy the relationship. Family relationships and life-long friendships can be broken forever by saying, “I believe I am right and therefore you must be wrong”. We place “should’s” on people that make them wrong if they don’t do or think the way we think they “should”. Release them to their viewpoint and leave it at that. As they see you live your life successfully, it may influence them to change their minds!

Agree to disagree without animosity. Holding bitterness towards the other party is just swapping one negative emotion for another. “Love covers a multitude of sins” is a great saying. Understand that people do the best they can with the information and programming that they had, and still have, and now we simply are trying to do the same. What you give out comes back.

Amazing, isn’t it? All you need is a little give-and-take and maturity and a decision that says, “I make my own choices and, therefore, each day I am more than I was yesterday”. I am not superior to you or you to me. Each of us has the freedom to “see” things as we choose. I am okay with your beliefs being different than mine.

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