Friday, 14 October 2011


I lost you all with the last post, didn’t I?  Truth to tell, I probably lost myself too.  I'm doing it again, thinking out loud. Let’s go back a step, huh?

Let’s go back to…what?  To when?  Maybe to about 4am. I was lying there, in the dark, thinking about the messages we are given. When We Were Very Young.  What beliefs did we pick up?  Which ‘truths’ did we buy into and take on board? Which realities did we choose?
I've been thinking about it because, time and time again, I can hear people bumping up against their childhood scripts, beating themselves up  because of them.
So I thought back.  Which were the voices of my childhood? What were their siren songs. Which phrases burrowed deep into my psyche and left their seed?  The good seeds and the bad…

·        Life’s tough - you have to fight every step of the way.
·        There are no silver spoons – you have to work your socks off.
·        Losing control is extremely dangerous – don’t do it.
·        You can’t always get what you want – make the best of what you’re given.
·        There is never enough money.

Some, of course, weren’t spoken aloud but seeped in by psychic osmosis.

·        Don’t love because the people you love may well leave you.
·        Don’t trust because people, even those closest to you, can betray you.
·        There are monsters.  Learn to jump.  Learn to hide.
·        There are secrets.  Keep them.   

That sounds grim but, to be honest, I got off lightly really. But, even so, those phrases had bitten deep, had left a lonely legacy. In my twenties I did a lot of work on them – with rebirthing, with affirmations; with positive thought, with hypnotherapy, with regression.  But you have to be careful.  You can’t just paper over the cracks, not when there is damp and decay underneath.  If you don’t understand your darkness, if you don’t look it straight in the eye and accept it, honour it even, it can become a fearsome shadow.  Those voices are still there and I am still shadow-fighting and sometimes it feels like I'm doing it eyes blindfolded, hands tied behind my back.

What voices do you hear when you close your eyes?  What are they whispering, or sneering, or shouting?  Maybe you’re one of the rare lucky ones and the voices are soothing or encouraging.
Somehow though, I suspect many of you are like me and the voices are not so kind.  For example, many women I know battle the voices that say 'Be nice'; 'Be a good girl'; 'Good girls don't do that or that or that'.  I was lucky in that I grew up in a family that didn't push women down.  Men have a whole other set of voices and beliefs that beat them.  They start with 'Boys don't cry' and then insist that men should be always strong and controlled; tough and powerful. That if you don't have the outer trappings of success, you are nothing.  Bullshit. 

But then… just because the voices are there, does that mean they’re right? Does that mean you have to listen to them?  You can challenge them, you know. You can tell them to shut the fuck up.  That you ain’t buying their bullshit no more. First you have to recognise the voice; find out who's telling you how to live your life; whose bullshit you're listening to. More often than not, it's a parent.  Then again, maybe a school teacher telling you you're not good enough, that you'll never make the grade. Or a school bully, or even a supposed friend.
But, you know, it's never too late.  You can change the script.  Just tell the voices to shut up; tell them they lie or that you simply don't want to listen any more.  You can change your reality, one thought at a time.


Frances said...

Jane, could I possibly be your first commenter? I am honored!

I have so little time to myself, that I often seem to be way behind in my reading of favorite blogging writers, like you. When I don't leave a comment, it doesn't mean I didn't have one, it's just that I can't quickly express myself.

The older I get, the more clear certain of my own childhood memories and impressions become. Many of these came from a very limited access to the greater world. How glad I am to have little by little pushed and eased my way into contact with various points of view, experiences, failures, victories, ... just life, I guess.

See, even with an extra fifteen minutes, I still ramble without saying much.

Best wishes. xo

Exmoorjane said...

Oh Frances, my dear friend, I fear I can't express myself at all, lately... I just blunder around... I don't know. Love seeing your teacup on my blog though.. Do wish you'd do more self-portraits... xxx

Internet Geek said...

Yet again - thank you for this message as well! *smooches*

Anonymous said...

Trawl Twitter for ideas.....

Exmoorjane said...

Traci: xxx

Bud: Good idea. Back to pointy tits and gussets. Thanks for the wake-up call. As always.

Rob-bear said...

You are much smarter than you think. It is just so evident. Even a Bear can figure that out.
We all get images of who and what we should be. And in the end, I've said to some, "That's not helpful; I simply am not going to do that any more."
Some of the message are important and relevant. Some are not. The thing is to sort them out, and keeping what is helpful, from your adult perspective.
Blessings and Bear hugs.

Kitty said...

Do you know, you lost dim old me years ago with all the mystic stuff. I'm just too darn literal. However, I do think you are very very wise. And I like that x

Ashen said...

I enjoy your reflections. Our blog posts seem to resonate in some way, thoughts on the air :)

Anonymous said...

I used to hear a lot of negative voices, all of them from childhood, all of them uttered by the very same person. Then I did a lot of work on myself, and now I only hear mine. I've managed to drown the rest out because they are nonsence. When I'm tired, and I suspect when you are tired Jane, they sometimes creep back, but they are never there for long. Can you get rid of them one thought at a time? Absolutely. Create a stronger one to counteract it. Then believe it. xxx

elizabethm said...

I am not sure I have ever appreciated enough that my voices say "You can do it", "I love you, you know", "Don't be too hard on yourself" "It'll be fine".
Thank you mother.