Posts Tagged ‘voices’

the presence of imaginary enemies

December 15, 2010

Far too long ago, I wrote about the voices in my head . . . okay, it was 10 days ago. Life these days is draining my mental and emotional energy leaving very few synapses who willingly want to connect to make a complete sentence.

I have chosen to pay attention to these life moments because the people involved are important to me. I am doing what I can to support my family members who are in crisis. I am letting the voices in my head do some of their thinking for them because they are so deep in their worry and anxiety they can barely see past the next moment and when they try, life is full of imaginary enemies out to get them.

Those enemies (such as being homeless and foodless) are very real when they occur, but up until that moment, they exist only in our heads. Their threat can bring about this sort of inertia where the only thing people can focus on is what is lacking in life . . . what they don’t have. What they don’t have leads to the story of what will happen next and that is usually not a very good place. I keep reminding them that they have family and friends who are supportive of them, but we don’t want to rescue them. We want them to be safely employed and securely housed and my energy is devoted to helping them see the paths they can take to get themselves there.

This experience has caused me to pay attention to my own imaginary enemies . . . the stories I create about what will happen next because of what is happening now. Once I create the story and believe it, the story becomes my enemy because I will not be able to see a different story. The story can be very positive – great and wonderful things happen to me! But it can also be my imaginary enemy if the story is founded in magical thinking or if it ignores the reality of my present situation. A terrible story that does not end well for me can also be my enemy because it takes away my ability to see opportunities in my present that would change my imaginary outcome.

I think the key is to become aware of how I want my life to look and feel like, keep that picture inside my mind and those feelings in my heart, and do what is possible for me in this moment to support that result.

I can write the story another day.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of voices

December 5, 2010

When I was very young, I became aware of the voices in my head . . . and not all of them get along with each other. They like to argue. At the age of five, one of them actually convinced me against the advice of another voice that if pepper made food hot and spicy, then salt would make food cool and mellow. Five glasses of water later, my parents asked me why I was drinking so much and I admitted to what the salt voice told me to do.

They found it highly amusing, but I realized at that point I could not trust the salt voice. Its intent at the time was to lead me astray. (The pepper voice said “I told you so!”) Eventually, I learned to befriend the salt voice because it can also come up with amusing and funny ways to be in life. It likes to ignore the perfect voice in me that absolutely requires I never do anything wrong. The perfect voice is just as important because it has impeccable judgment. It knows what to do when the perfect action is required, for instance, when I am driving a vehicle or caring for a child. Whatever action successfully navigates me and everyone else through those encounters intact is perfect.

What reminded me of my voices was Laurie’s post at Speaking from the Heart on perspective. I must hear from at least five different perspectives in me on any particular matter throughout my days and nights. You can just imagine what they are doing with my family dilemma at this moment (see post “the presence of burden.”)

Well, you probably can’t unless you hear voices, too.

If you do, we will just keep it between us. Okay? I’ve found that admitting to hearing voices in public brings a little more scrutiny from people than I care to deal with. From now on, we will just call them “perspectives” when in the company of others.

I started out this blog to discuss the mind-body “problem” – which I don’t think is really a problem. Essentially, the mind-body argument wants us to decide if the brain and mind are “one” or separate from each other or connected. So, there we have three voices . . . um . . . perspectives on an idea that I would like to explore.

But I’ve spent all this time and virtual space just introducing how my intellectual processing works so I will take up the discussion tomorrow.

(“No, let’s do it now.”)

(“Yeah. You are always waiting for the right time, which never comes by the way.”)

(“You guys leave her alone. She will write it when the words are ready to be written.”)

(“Oh, prefect, you always take her side!”)

(“That’s p-e-r-f-e-c-t, noodle brain, not prefect.”)

(“Whatever!”)

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass