Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Voice That Is Not on My Side

There is a particular voice I sometimes hear inside that is not a reliable one or a helpful one.

I don’t always know to say it like that.

It is a voice that purports to explain things in my life about which I am fearful or conflicted. However, it is not a charitable voice; it explains by accusing; it explains by blaming me. It claims to represent the consensus of key individuals, individuals whom other people listen to and believe. When I don’t stop myself – and often I can’t – I mistake the script this voice reads; I mistake it for an objective and insightful analysis.

Its goal is not clarity, however.

In the language of classic sixteenth-century spiritual directors, this is a voice that requires discernment to recognize its true nature. This is not a voice whose goal is a peaceful awareness that can move things forward.

This voice is not on my side. I may initially assume it is, but it is not on my side.

Sometimes the patience and good humor I need, though, manage to make it through.

Even on a rainy January morning.

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