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Staying True to Yourself

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This post will be different. Vaguer than usual. Or maybe clearer.

We spend our entire lives trying to reconcile our internal voice with the voice of the world surrounding us. Sometimes these two voices talk in unison. Sometimes their words are light years apart. But both of them are always present.

The problem is, the voice of the external world is often so much louder than our internal voice. And no wonder — the world’s booming voice is comprised of thousands of voices.

They talk to you in person and from the TV screen. They scream at you from the billboards and from the phone in your palm. They await you in the morning and go with you to bed, sometimes following you into your dreams. They are with you every hour and every minute of the day.

Some of those voices are well-meaning. Others wouldn’t mind if you were harmed. Yet others actually want you to disappear — and are very clear about that. Some voices advise. Others demand. Some speak softly. Others yell at the top of their lungs.

But whatever their message is, however soft or loud they are, they don’t want you just to listen. They want you to act. To act in a certain way, the way they consider right. They want you to do things. Or stop doing things. Big or small. Impactful or insignificant. But they tell you what is right, what is wrong, and what they expect you to do according to their definitions.

Demanding or luring, threatening or promising— whatever their means and motives are, they can be very persuasive.

And as you listen to them, day and night, night and day, it becomes so hard to listen to one particular voice. Your own.

At times, its whisper becomes so timid, so hesitant that it’s easy to mistake it for silence. And yet it’s there. With you. Inside. Never leaving you. Never going completely quiet.

Because that voice is not just your voice. It is you.

And it’s your choices to make. Your actions to take. Your consequences to face. Your life to live. Yours and no one else’s.

Yes, the well-meaning voices can be your best advisors. To listen to and learn from. And the voices that want to harm you can shut up and go to hell — and if they don’t, they, at least, can be ignored.

But once you listen to all those voices, you turn their volume down. And turn the dial of your own voice up. All the way up. Because you haven’t been just listening to the voices of the world surrounding you. You have been also living in it. Experiencing. Observing. Learning. Understanding. Thinking. Coming to your own conclusions.

And because of that, deep inside, you already know what is right. You already know what is wrong. That’s what the internal voice has been trying to tell you all along. And you know that staying true to that voice, to yourself, is not a luxury. It’s a fundamental necessity.

Because that’s the only way to live your life without regrets.

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