Listening to ourselves, to our own inner stirrings, is an act of awakening that leads us on a journey to wholeness. This listening is not simply thinking through an issue or problem and making a decision. This kind of listening is an act of consciousness that calls us to our deepest knowings—to the key bits of ourselves that we’ve let go of as we responded to the life that happened.
Conscious listening is work. But the rewards are worth the trouble. In the same way that consciously listening to others is an act of love that builds relationships and empowers both speaker and listener through understanding, listening to ourselves is an act of love that calls us to recognize the truth of who we are.
Listening to our own inner stirrings, our internal stories of love and loss, hope and pain, and triumph and fear is an integral part of awakening to the essence of who we are. It is an act of self-love that empowers us through deeper self-understanding and gives us the courage to become our true selves.
Awakening is necessary because we start closing off parts of our essential selves early in life. Circumstances and experiences teach us to hide certain aspects of our true selves that don’t meet the approval of important people—parents, teachers, siblings, friends.
In a bid for acceptance, and to keep us safe from separation, we jettison these unacceptable parts and bit by bit we forget they exist.
The great grace of growing up is that we mine the wisdom of our experiences to begin to listen again to the essence of who we are. Hard lessons of failure, loss, rejection, and fear become teachers that encourage us to remember (re+member) and restore what we once intrinsically knew.
Mindfully listening to the stories we tell ourselves allows our Spirits and bodies to awaken our conscious minds to the truths of our essential self that never really left us when we jettisoned the unacceptable bits. They simply burrowed deep into our subconscious.
In truthfully and consciously listening to what we tell ourselves, we can release the negative stories that limit us and embrace the awesomeness of our true re-membered essential being.
Writer Karen Thompson Walker has some wonderful observations of what we can learn from the stories we tell ourselves, especially the stories of our fears. Her insights are well worth the next ten minutes.