Whenever I listen to the loudest voice in my head it is usually not a good sign. I don’t mean in some serial killer kind of way, “The voice told me to cut him into pieces and place him in the refrigerator.” No, not that voice, I have never had that voice. No, really I have not. No really!
The loud voice I am talking about comes in the form of stories or what I call “personal narratives.” For example, if something does not go my way one of my common personal narratives is the “Teenage Narrative.” A voice that throws a psychological tantrum playing out a myriad of revenge-like stories about the other person who prevented that something from going my way. While your narratives may be different, we all do it in some form or another whether it be the “Victim narrative,” or “Entitlement narrative,” to name a few.
To expound on my example, I had a recent situation which I will spare you the details. In short it had to do with a friend who angered me. Rather than letting it rise like yeast taking up more and more space while the narrative takes full shape, I went out for an early morning bike ride to let it go.
As I was out for the ride the teenage rage continued to rise. How was I going to make this go away? The answer came rather quickly, “Let it go,” as in let the voice run its course without trying toshut it down by sheer willpower. Willpower makes it come back stronger. Also, I found that by not attaching any emotion to it the teenager loses the will to continue. I would also add that by giving it less attention it goes away.
There is a famous Buddhist saying that encapsulates what I am trying to say, “When a thought or emotion comes along don’t stop and serve it tea.” This has served me well (pun intended).
What at times used to be days or hours where my teenage narrative runs rampant, now lasts on a good day about an hour.
Perfect no. Progress yes!