There is a movement on this planet. It is the movement of placing us as far from who we really, truly are as possible. It begins at a very young age in most people. Ask just about any child what they hear in their head and you’ll likely hear responses like, “No one likes me.” “I’m not good enough.” “I don’t have nice clothes,” etc… etc…
One would think that by the time a child reaches adulthood, they would understand the voices for what they really are: a means to drive us away from being creators with purpose. If it takes the form of depression or anxiety, all the better say the voices.
One of the most insidious voices I heard during the 12 years of my fight with depression was, “No one wants to listen to you.” As I came out of the destructive forces of depression, it was validated even more when I had something to share with people and very few were interested at the time. The voices were very strong. They also said, “You must not have had clinical depression because no one overcomes that.”
Depression has a very real face, a very real thought process. One of those thought processes is believing that no one really, truly cares about you or recognizes your needs. It can look like this: you (the person with depression) walks down the street and waves to someone on the other side. They don’t wave back. You form a story in your mind that they must not like you because they did not wave back. The fact is, it’s possible the sun was in the eyes of the other person and they did not see you wave!
These types of experiences put distance between who we really, truly are and who we are in this moment. Sometimes the voices come from the outside. They come from school mates, teachers, adults, friends, strangers. The point is, every single person on this planet hears them. It is what we do with them that matters.
This past week my daughter had an experience. She was having a conversation with a teenager. During the conversation another adult came up to them, put her arm around the teen and told my daughter, “Don’t believe a word so-and-so is saying. She’s a liar.”
What?! This adult said this in “jest.” But have no doubt, it pierced. Thankfully for this teen, my daughter was able to immediately point out that this woman’s voice was false; she then helped the teen to recognize what is really true.
There are undoubtedly voices swimming around in your mind right now. It is especially a characteristic of depression and anxiety. You have a choice: allow them to swirl and continue to fester or call them out and in the process master the function of your mind.
I invite you to write down three voices in your head. Turn each statement around repeat the statements three times each day this week. Begin to master the function of your mind!
(first published April 2017)