Today on Self-care Saturday, I’d like to talk about our inner voice. We know there are myths, prophets and seers who have heard inner voices. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about. It’s more personal than that. This is about the voice that we hear constantly inside ourselves. In other words, how we speak to ourselves.

I don’t know if this was the case with you, but when I was little and I was in trouble, my parents called me by my first name, then my middle name, and I knew that was it: I must have done something wrong! But when they called me by my nickname, everything was fine.

Similarly, some of us had people we grew up with, a parent, grandparent or even someone who was taking care of us, maybe a nanny, who spoke with us and to us in a loving way, in a sweet way, in a positive way. And that’s a great blessing to have in life because when we were children we heard that voice. And then as adults, we have internalized the same voice to use to speak to ourselves internally.

Others of us unfortunately may have had parents, caregivers or grandparents who were disciplinarians. When we were children, they spoke to us very differently, very firmly. So we also have internalized parts of that voice.

As adults, when we go through life with a positive, loving, supportive inner voice, and we are met with a challenge, the voice may tell us, “You’ve got this.” “You’re strong.” “You’re beautiful.” “You’ve encountered tough things before.” “You have support.” And it makes all the difference in the world.

On the other hand, sometimes we have an inner voice that is very demanding. It doesn’t have a lot of compassion towards us. And when we’re faced with difficulties, we may hear that voice saying, “That’s it.” “You’re never going to be able to do it.” “You’re never going to be able to get through this.” “You are too stupid,” or “You don’t have this,” or “You’re not that beautiful.”

And it makes all the difference in the world to feel built up, encouraged, supported or dissed by our inner voice. So I really want us to consider how we speak to ourselves or with ourselves internally. Is that inner voice building us up? Is it positive? Is it encouraging? We can work with this and develop a healthier inner voice because we need it. As we go through life, as we face challenges, we need to have a positive reflection,a positive inner voice, a positive force and energy, building us up, having our back, letting us know that in fact we have got this.

So this is our discussion today on Self-care Saturday. Our inner voice. It’s constantly speaking to us. We sometimes don’t hear it because we’re busy, but it’s definitely there. And it has an impact. It has an impact on ourselves, on our lives, our relationships, how we speak to our children.  Oftentimes it’s inherited. So we would do well to listen to that voice.

How are you talking to yourself? How are you experiencing that inner voice?