The truth of who we are can be found by looking within our hearts, and if we are fortunate (or perhaps if we work hard and learn how to listen) we can discover our inner value and the treasure of who we really are. Unfortunately, all too often we mistake our “inner voice” for the whisperings of our hearts.
Our inner voices are often deceived by the outside world. We are taught, both through the words of others and our own life experiences, that we are not worthy, that we do not deserve the happiness we seek, that we are flawed and will never have the fullness that life has to offer. We begin to believe there is something wrong with us, or the world we live in, and our inner voices eventually accept the mantra of failure and disappointment.
If we are fortunate, we will realize that we are more than that, and we’ll begin the quest to find our true selves. As we begin to recognize our true value — when we get to know our authentic selves — we find joy in our discovery, but our inner voices are not so easily quieted.
Life tends to consists of several series of events, some positive and some negative, with long periods of waiting in between. It’s during those times that we reflect on our experiences. If we focus on the positive things that happen, we are filled with light and hope. If we focus on the negative, we are filled with darkness and despair. For some reason, it often seems easier to cling to the wounds of our past and carry them with us than to hold on to the joys we’ve known. We look at our scars and believe they define us, and we consider our fond memories “Good Ol’ Days” that will never return.
It becomes easy to seek affirmation in the approval of others. We struggle to be the people they expect us to be, and we lose touch with who we really are. We mistake the emptiness that results as loneliness, and we try to fill that space by working even harder to please others.
I’m not suggesting that we should completely ignore the people who are important to us, but we should remember that we have to know how to love ourselves fully and unconditionally before we can give that kind of love to anyone else. The greatest love we can offer others is simply a reflection of the true love we allow ourselves. And the kind of love I’m talking about will never lead us to selfishness — it inspires us to become better people – to make the changes necessary to know and nourish the beauty of our true selves.
In order to accomplish this, we have to confront the doubts of our inner voices head-on.