It’s funny. He’s always been there, but it’s only over the last couple of years that I’ve consciously heard him, realized he exists. It’s the little voice, sitting on my shoulder, assessing and judging. Assessing and judging you. Assessing and judging me.
Sometimes he can be pretty compelling. After all, he’s not me, and he’s not saying what I think. He’s saying what he thinks. So he must be more objective. Except that actually the words and thoughts he places in other people’s mind all come from me. It’s a good trick. “She must think that…”, “He must be so disappointed that…”. They’re all projections, from my mind into others’, but done so artfully I don’t even realize they aren’t real. It turns out that I am a superbventriloquist, if only introspectively. Are you?
What am I talking about? I’m talking about a simple confusion between two very different perspectives. On the one hand there is what I think. And on the other hand there is what everyone, anyone, else thinks. Mixing the two up – or blithely assuming that the two are the same – has caused me more heartache, pain and frustration than I can remember.
Inside versus Outside. There’s a difference.
Because they aren’t the same. In fact they’re often opposite. I am successful. I have failed. I am stupid. I am smart. I am helping. I sound smug. I am ugly. I am handsome. I am old. I am young. People will never forget that I did it. Nobody noticed that I did it.
Which voice says what is not predetermined. Nor is their their respective volume. I don’t know who you hear most or what they say, it changes for me from day to day. Regardless, as I reflect on the years past, I’ve realized that it’s essential for me to remember that there is always a second view.
What’s more, everyone else has two views too. And like me, they might sometimes forget the difference between Inside, Outside and Inside Outside. Realising this, I think I’ve become more humble, more mindful and more accepting. At least, that’s my inside view. I hope that the outside view is not opposite.