The Consequences of These Influences
The pressures and prohibitions from the larger culture and from our family of origin get internalized, becoming a less than conscious template for acceptable behavior; an internalization of myriad external voices becomes a chorus drowning out our own authentic inner realities. We lose any sense of our center. When we step out of line, these internalized voices harangue us to make sure we shape up so that we’ll be safe from external retribution. These critical voices, meaning to protect us, are themselves often painfully harsh and punitive.
Freeing our selves from the tyranny of these now-internalized oppressive voices is a process that begins with observing their messages rather than taking them in, believing them and being directed by them. It helps to explore and try to identify the source/lineage of any inner voice that makes us feels diminished or not-okay. Giving each such voice a name (e.g., the hatchet lady, the judge, the slave-driver, the production manager) allows us to see our selves as separate from it.
With journaling, we can enter into dialog with each voice and uncover what purpose it believes it serves, what it fears and from what it is trying to protect us.
In this dialog, we are liberating and connecting more fully with the voice of our own wise, inner-knowing self. From this self, we can begin to address those fears, transform those undermining influences and build loving, gentle support for the truths of our own inner knowing. And, we can begin to find ways to open our hearts to the needy, upset, sad or angry parts of our selves that, till now unattended, live on hidden away inside of us.