There is an inner voice that speaks to us before we speak out to others. Taking time to pause, and listen to that inner voice is an undervalued virtue. Too quickly do we express our negative reactions to experiences, judging others and ourselves harshly. Inevitably the voice that speaks out too quickly is heard wrong or taken out of context, and we begin to regret it immediately. For me, I will often look back and obsess over what I said, or how I said it, reliving the moment in my head and kicking myself for it. Speaking from the heart, softly, quietly, respectfully and truthfully is rarely done especially when passion, fear or anger is involved. The way we say things is most important in the efforts of expression. Verbal tone, choice of words and quality of communication can build walls or tear them down. I know from my own personal experience that it is with our most intimate family or friends that we fall short of this. It is easy to forget, we have so much to remember in caring for ourselves and others while functioning in a stressful world day to day. We need to say what we mean, mean what we say, but don't say it mean.
Within us there is light and there is shadow. Our light is made up of those parts of our being that have been commended, accepted and loved. This light shines brighter when we acknowledge these qualities in ourself and in others. Our darkness or shadow side is made up of those parts of our being that we experience as unacceptable. Our families, friends and culture make it known early on which qualities are not valued or accepted. We learn through our experiences, having been scolded, ignored, rejected, hurt or pushed away. Dwelling on the feelings of shame and anger intensify our fears and disconnect us from others, we feel misunderstood and our natural coping emotions become buried deep within us. Connecting with our mistakes, our fears, our regrets can only strengthen our light. Remembering our own flawed moments of self-judgment and blame opens the door to forgiveness. We need to forgive ourselves, love ourselves and listen to ourselves. Create space for compassion within our hearts and minds. Make room for love and patience in your daily activities. Pause, listen, and speak from the heart. Come back to your inner island, your self, the child within and feel life.