BY SOFO ARCHON
Yesterday night my girlfriend and I decided to go for a small walk around our neighborhood. At some point we reached to a square that was filled with children, and decided to chill there for a bit and observe them playing all around us.
After a while, we saw a little girl — no older than 6 — trying to climb up a short ladder that was standing right next to us. With a lot of effort she eventually managed to reach to its top. She was proud of her achievement and radiated with joy, until she suddenly heard an old woman yelling at her: “So what are you trying to show us now? There’s no need to brag. You’ve achieved nothing; others have climbed way higher than you.” Instantly, the girl’s big smile disappeared from her face. She looked disappointed and hurt.
To our amazement, that woman was actually the girl’s grandmother. Soon afterwards, the woman got up from the bench she was sitting on, told the girl she was leaving, turned her back on her, and walked away without waiting for a single moment. The girl appeared distressed. She quickly climbed down the ladder and ran crying after her grandmother.
I then thought of how traumatic an experience that must have been for the little girl. You see, children are very sensitive and absorb everything that comes from their environment like a sponge, so naturally the words they hear can deeply affect their psyche. And those words usually stay with them for years upon years, causing them tremendous suffering, sometimes until they reach to an old age — or even until they take their last breath.
When we were children, we were all at times hurt by words thrown at us. Now, as adults, we constantly hear voices in our heads that have been implanted by others — our parents, relatives, friends, teachers, and so on — yet we think that they are our own. Voices which tell us that we are inadequate. That we’re unimportant. That we’re not worth loving. That we’re not worth living.
Those negative voices keep on repeating themselves so often that they’ve programmed us to think that what they’re saying is actually true. If you’re hearing such voices yourself, I’d like to tell you: what they are saying is utter bullshit. You, just like every other person in the world, are a uniquely beautiful, intelligent and inherently loving being. But your beauty, intelligence and love have been suppressed for so long that it might feel as if they’re nonexistent.
If you feel inadequate, trust me, I’ve been there. And I know it sucks. But I also know that there’s a way out. How? Well, my intention isn’t to turn this into yet another how-to self-help article, but I’ll merely point out that simple things such as meditating, taking care of your emotional needs, accepting and expressing your feelings, pursuing your genuine interests and forming loving relationships can do wonders to help you silence the negative voices in your head and rediscover inner peace.
My aim here is to simply remind you that you are enough as you are, regardless of what others have made you think. I want to remind you that your presence is enriching the whole existence and that you have tremendously important gifts to contribute to the world. I want to remind you that you possess a loving heart that can brighten another person’s life. So next time those negative voices arise in your head, don’t be fooled by them, for they are lying to you, again and again. Instead, observe them unattached, notice where they are coming from and let them go one by one. They are just an illusion that has been fed by your attention, and the only way to break free from them is to stop believing them.