If you are not aware of your inner monologue, it’s the voice that’s just said, “What’s he on about?”
Let’s be clear about our inner monologue or voice, it’s a critic, it’s a carping, down driving, dismal damned critic, which has the (almost) sole purpose of making us feel bad. If there’s anyone out there with a positive inner voice, I have yet to meet them.
I have a long and bitter history with my inner voice, it is so powerful, undermining me at every step. I remember the lead up to ‘A Letter a Day to Number 10’ and the daily battle with being an alcoholic all through the 4 1/2 years of writing the letters. I was motivated enough to be able, apart from a very few occasions, to defer the first drink of the day until I had written that days letter and I could relax into the chaos of self loathing and the relief of getting drunk. Mind you, researching and writing with a hangover was no mean feat.
I was impervious to the praise that people increasingly heaped upon me, I released each letter on Facebook to fly where they would, but it was others that rightly gave them wings. With hindsight I can see that they were good letters and stood the test of public approval with no help from me or some fat cat PR company. And I was secretly pleased, I was doing something right in my chaotic world and that almost certainly helped me finally beat the booze on my birthday in 2017. But I knew I could not beat the booze alone, I was no match for the inner voice and demons, so I sought the help of a person centred counsellor and granted myself an ally against the vicious enemy within.
And that’s right too. We are not made to deal with life in isolation, we are cooperative creatures and we exist through cooperation. If, like me, you live in a house, that house and almost everything in it is the fruit of other people’s labour. This keyboard I am tapping away on, the computer screen I am reading and editing on, the clutter of stuff that fills my house is all the cooperative gift of others that I have merely bought.
Giving up the booze and facing life bare knuckled on trembling knees, I had to find some truths to deal with the critic and the demons, which I explored with my counsellor. I am immune to the fad and the endless books of self praise and self worship. I need substance and, living in rural Britain, I found it and a great truth which I have only to look out of my window to affirm at need. I am a creature of nature and the universe and indivisible from it. I am made of the impermanent, ever changing, stuff of stars and supernovas, I will inhabit this body for a brief time and then I will return to the earth. That is indisputable truth and in that I see the awe inspiring wonder of this miracle we know as life and I realised, we are amazing and my inner critic is impotent to nay say it.
In appreciating nature and being just a microscopic part of nature I am able to step back from my egotistic self centred self and relax. It’s ok to be small, it’s ok to be this little life, pecking a living on this wonderful Earth. That’s where I find the wonder of being wonderful. I was in Tesco yesterday buying food and said to the young, obviously pressured, woman on the till, “Thank you, you are all heroes, you are wonderful.” She looked at me, and her face lit up and she properly smiled. And it’s true. I’d be stuffed without that local store and those who work there and all the supply lines and people who keep us fed and keep the country going.
What I said was true and I am part of that truth of being just an ordinary person made of star dust and I am content with my little place in the grand scheme of things and of being wonderful. Not a lot of people know that and it is my mission in life to let people know they are wonderful and it is such a lot of fun.
Peace and love dear reader, you are wonderful and this is a conspiracy of kindness and it’s true, you are amazing.
Keith Lindsay-Cameron. 05 January 2021.