"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.

8.02.2010

Abiding Monday



Continuing in "The Seeking Heart" by Charles Ringma

A Renewed Listening
Transforming those inner voices

It is both interesting and necessary for us to reflect on our own inner talking. Most of us talk a lot to ourselves. And much of what we have to say is not necessarily good or helpful. Much of our self-talk is negative. For some, their inner world is the ever-running broken record of insecurity, woundedness, and fear.

I know something of this inner world. The formative years of my life without the presence of my father because of war and immigration, left me insecure, reactive, and aggressive. Mine was a confused inner world.

Those who have read many of the writings of my conversation partner in these reflections will know that Nouwen long suffered from insecurities, a sense of rejection, and from an uncomfortability regarding his own personhood. This led either to a crowded clinging to or a sense of rage toward others.

What we need to recognize is that our self-talk is never simply our own talk, for these inner voices are also the voices of others and the wounding we have received at their hands. It is also possible that our inner voice picks up the vibrations of generational dysfunctionalities. In extreme cases our inner voices may become the voice of a split personality or the voice of demonic forces.

We can't ignore these inner voices. While the extreme cases need careful pastoral and professional attention, the transformation of our inner voices is essential to our inner healing and general well-being. The journey of faith can't ignore being attentive to the confusion and sometimes chaos within.

The starting point in what may be a long process of inner renewal is the gift and ability to hear another voice. A contrary voice. A voice of a very different melody.

It is usually not the case that this voice is so loud that it drowns out our own inner voices. Rather, it is that this voice is so winsome that it begins to subvert and destabilize our inner voices. Nouween speaks of the necessity "to be empty, free, and open, conscious of God-with-us, sensing God present, listening with our hearts to the voice of love."  This voice is none other than the whispers of the Spirit, the very breath of the God of love.

To hear in the very depth of my being that God has known me from the very beginning, even while I was being formed in my mother's womb; to hear that in Christ God's love is for me and toward me; to hear that God sees me and loves me with unbounded grace; to hear that I may shelter in his presence and be fed at he banqueting table - to hear these voices brings hope to the most insecure, fearful, angry, and broken parts of our lives.

This voice of love echoes in the heart chambers of the whole of humanity. Its whispers are also in our own hearts. We need a new attentiveness to hear it, for sadly we seem to prefer the familiar voices of chaos than the Voice that can set us free.

While we may wish that God would shout, the Voice of love can already be heard.  It echoes from a rugged cross.  Its richly textured melodies lie secure within the Gospel stories.  And the pervasive voice of the brooding Spirit seeks to awaken us to the Voice that can dynamite or erode our inner voices of fear, distrust, and anxiety.  

What is your inner talking like these days??  Mine has not been very positive.  I have a feeling I'm not the only one.  May we take those thoughts first to God and ask if there is any truth to them, and if so ask for change, and if not may we ask him to replace them with truth.  

Blessings!

17 comments:

Nancy said...

Mar, I think we would dangerous if we lived close together...I see so many similaries in us....
Yes, we all have these innner voices that sometime keep us chained to them but thank goodness, God in His loveingkindness won't allow to stay in that old place and is constantly challenging those voices....
When a young child hears too many of them coming from the powerful figures in their lives, they get so igrained they are taken for the truth...I know that is the case with me...

Your post has once again seen into my heart and challenge me to investigate the orgin of my inner voices and challenge the ones who are not in agreement with the Father.......

Big hugs to my special bud,,,,,,

lori vliegen said...

oh boy, mary.....my inner talkings are more like ramblings these days! and what i definitely need to do is a lot LESS talking to myself, and a lot more LISTENING to the voice of God!! thanks for such a powerful message! big love, :))

Duane Scott said...

"What we need to recognize is that our self-talk is never simply our own talk, for these inner voices are also the voices of others and the wounding we have received at their hands."

Wow. I could write an entire blog post on this. You have definitely given me something to think about and your blog is truly lovely. Will be back!

Poetic Artist said...

Mary,
Thank you for this. You are thinking in the same direction.
Love you,
Katelen

Francois said...

I like the way you pulled out the rational behind the inner voices. I can recognize in my voices exactly what you have laid out here.
These voices as you say are for the most part emotionally destructive and lead to dis-ease which if left unchecked wreak havoc in the physical.
There is, however, among my inner voices one that I like. In this one I never lose an argument. :p

Denise said...

So inspiring, thank you.

Hindsfeet said...

Oh Mary, this has been an ongoing theme in my life lately....that of paying attention to and taking charge of my thought life...

...appreciate being able to read other's comments here and especially Nancy's tonight.....

So grateful, as always, for your timely words...

PaperPumpkin said...

Hi Mary! Thank you for this. I do so enjoy your Abiding Mondays. I left a long comment yesterday evening, and it disappeared, so I checked back today...yep, not here...but I wanted to let you know that I loved your words yesterday.

Emeila said...

Thank you for sharing that:)

Hindsfeet said...

Hi again, Mary....

I had never heard about "visual journaling" till I read about it here in your profile.....I pulled out my oil pastels and some art paper and took my first stab at it today....really something...I took a picture of what I did and as soon as I figure out how to upload it to my computer in a way I can show you, I will (technology dinasaur here...)

Thanks for the inspiration, Mary...
H : )

S. Etole said...

Learning to recognize our Shepherd's voice is so needful ...

Jennifer Richardson said...

So much inside of me trying to tumble out and into the light right now...grateful for the safety that the voice of Love creates.

I'm so thankful for the sounds of safety....that still buttery sense that it's okay to just "be" in this place. That sense of safety silences the accuser more these days than in the past.

Maybe that is what He meant when He said He wanted to be our hiding place. Refuge. Strong tower. Maybe it's that shelter from those voices and inner accusations that we need the most.
I'm altogether grateful.

I love this, Mary. Thanks.
-Jennifer

Martha Lever said...

Yes, lots of that inner talking these days for me. It's part of my unsettledness. Thank you for your Abiding Mondays. I always look forward the them. Love ya, Mar!

Martha Lever said...

Yep, those inner voices are quite a nuisance to the art journey, aren't they?! I know that I have to create some crap to move to a different level but I sure hate to waste paper. But there's always gesso! Your paintings are fantastic, Mary. It's just that little demon art critic sitting on your shoulder. His brother is sitting on mine!

Buffy said...

Wow,this was a great message, I always hear negative voices! Thanks Mary for sharing!

Lisa Holtzman said...

Mary, you have expressed what I think we all feel so beautifully, thank you!

laurel said...

Dang, you almost made me cry. Seems to be a lifelong struggle to get past the negative thoughts, inner voices and emotions and to hear God's love over the din. I certainly haven't gotten there and it is particularly hard since I've gained back a bit of weight. Too much of my self esteem is tied to my body. Very timely message. Now how to utilize it and move forward.