“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.” —Michael Singer, from The Untethered Soul
You are not your inner dialogue—this concept is the foundation of spiritual enlightenment and freeing yourself from negative energies: you and the voice of your mind, that ongoing inner dialogue, are not one and the same. You, who you ARE at the core of your being, is separate and wholly distinct from the voice of your mind.
Your inner being is comprised of two parts: The first part is you – your awareness, the center of willful intention. The other part is that which you attend to – your inner voice/dialogue, that stream of internal dialogue that never stops.
The mind engages in a continuous, endless dialogue. This stream of chatter is essentially a narration of what we see, hear and experience.
The mind takes in all of this information and manipulates it in ways that fit our personal reality. It is trying to make sense of it all. Your mind takes on the role of deciding how everything needs to be for you to be ok, to feel secure.
That constant narration is meant to be comforting and safe. But it can also keep you stuck, anxious and fearful.
Amidst all that chatter, you are in there. You are experiencing your life—and your mind simply narrates.
Awareness differentiates worldly-focused people from spiritually-minded people.
“The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out.”
Learning to identify and become aware of your inner dialogue is the first step to freeing yourself from the influence of this running dialogue.
In his book The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer refers to this incessant chatter as your “inner roommate” and likens this roommate to the most disturbed, annoying and emotionally reactive person you’ve ever met. This voice can pull you away from or distract you from almost anything you’re doing.
According to Singer, this “inner roommate” is pretty much the cause of every problem you’ve ever had. It is the reaction we have to the incessant, often negative and contradictory nature of this dialogue that creates conflict, fear and stress.
Tame the roommate and you will find a freedom and peace that’s absolutely life-changing.
So, how the heck do you tame your own inner dialogue?
First, you need to get to know it. Singer offers a powerful exercise in which you personify your inner roommate: Think of it as a person, someone who is an integral part of your world.
Next, stop and listen. What do you hear? Do you like the things it says to you? About you? Would you let any other person speak to you or about you in that way?
Chances are you are going to find this inner voice annoying, angering, maybe even downright destructive.
Is this what you want guiding your life’s journey? Probably not.
Now, of course you can’t stop the voice but what you can do is this: change the way you attend to it.
From now on, every time you hear your inner roommate saying something that doesn’t mesh well with the highest version of yourself, imagine taking a remote control and pressing down on the volume button—slowly decreasing the volume, lower and lower…
Decrease that volume all the way down to a whisper, and finally, lower the volume completely.
It is only when you are ready to break free from the inner mental drama that you will be able to get rid of its power over you.
Notes + references:
This piece was inspired by The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer