I’M GOING TO START THIS STORY OFF WITH A BANG. ALL CAPS BABY. WHOOOO!
How did that sound in your head? Did it feel like I was shouting at you?
How about now? More reasonable? Good. You’re probably wondering what this is all about. I promise I’ll get to that in a bit.
But first, let me pose you this question. Have you ever had a calling? Or has your conscience ever spoken to you? Maybe gave you a couple pointers that seemed outlandish at first, but started making sense after a week?
It’s typically not a loud voice either. You’ll probably hear it from the corner of your mind, a nook you never even knew you had in that beautifully complex brain of yours:
‘Maybe you should clean up that mess in the storeroom.’
‘You reaaally need to stop sleeping in so much.’
‘You should totally keep blogging. It’ll work out someday. Trust me.’
If you’ve felt that connection with your higher self before, then consider yourself lucky, because staying in touch with it certainly isn’t the easiest thing to do nowadays, what with all the social media and infinite scroll and such.
Thanks to our phones, we don’t even have to go through a single minute of boredom, yet that’s exactly the thing we need to connect with our higher self.
Your inner gyroscope
And thus we arrive at this topic. It’s not easy discerning between the various voices you have in your mind. We sometimes mistake our higher self for our usual thoughts—mostly our ego.
But if we listen closely enough, we’ll start to notice the differences between the personalities. Our ego would bathe you in shame and guilt, while our higher self always speaks from compassion and love.
It sends us a little ping when we kick back to Netflix, knowing full well that the laundry needs doing. It’s there when we go out for drinks when we have to wake up early the next day. You might also hear its calls when you’re doing something—a job or, say, a crime—that doesn’t align with your values.
But it’s so gentle that we often miss its message.
We half expect an Arnold Schwarznegger to show up in the back of our minds, machine gun in hand, telling us to get to our mental chopper. We think that something will just ‘click’, despite decades of not working on our goals.
Someday, your ego will tell you, we’ll be rich and successful. But for now, make sure you buy that BMW, because social proof baybay. Whoooo!
A gentle voice
I guess we can all agree that if your mental voice hoots at you, then it’s probably not your higher self.
Some of the biggest things I’ve ever achieved in life have been a result of the tiniest whispers. Make no mistake about it though, it may be a soft voice, but it’s firm.
It’s the same voice that told me to quit smoking. It’s the same voice that’s always encouraged me to write a book. Heck, it’s the same voice that recommended I try writing for a living.
Unfortunately, that voice is often met head-on by my ego. What? You gonna leave your cushy job to write a novel? And a cyberpunk one at that? Who even reads cyberpunk?
You want to quit smoking? Fat hopes. Your girlfriend smokes, you need something to go with your beer, and you’ll never be able to handle stress without a pack of cigarettes.
You want to send in this writing application? Buddy, you didn’t even finish secondary school. And you’re an ex-hairdresser. Let’s go back to hairdressing. That’s where we gon’ get the girls, anyways. Whoooo!
I’m glad that I’d listened to the soft voice instead. In all of the above situations, it’s that tiny voice that got me through my doubts. Doubts of not finishing that novel, of being able to ditch smoking, of not belonging in the publishing industry.
Lately, my higher self has begun calling once more. It’s telling me that I should stop dancing to someone else’s beat, and that I can make it on my own. You know the drill. My ego showed up as well.
You idiot. You’ve been jobless before. Just what are you going to do? You think life’s just a bed of tulips? I don’t care if I’ve mixed up my idioms. I’m not the writer here. You are.
The ego does have a point though. I don’t know how exactly I’m going to strike out on my own, but not knowing is par for the course. Always has been.
I just wish the stakes weren’t so high every time I had to make a choice, ya know? I’d much prefer it if it was a choice between smooth or chunky peanut butter. But choosing between an unfulfilling life or another career setback only has me sweating bullets before I can even bite the damned bullet in the first place.
Have you been listening to your voice?
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you during the time of writing, but perhaps an update will follow soon enough. Maybe I’ll need to take my own advice and stop picking up the phone so often. Maybe I should replace other people’s musings on social media for my own.
In fact, maybe we all could use the same thing. Perhaps we can all learn what it’s like to feel bored again so can connect to our higher selves.
Maybe there’s the tiniest chance that this article encourage your higher self to speak up and propel you down your very own best life. And if that happens, I hope it’s not the type of motivation that roars in your heart, but one that’s barely just a whisper.