In many ways, knowing and loving who we are, both as spiritual and physical beings is the first step to following our inner voice. If we never develop the capacity to fully appreciate the truth and beauty of who we are, we can go through life searching for our truth outside of ourselves (through money, material possessions and other people) and never recognize the wisdom within. However, when we awaken to our own life-force and ability to befriend ourselves through love and acceptance, we can begin to trust that inner voice.
In the following two stories, both Michelle and Christine awaken to their own divine life-force and in doing so learn how to trust their inner voice.
The Voice of a Life-force by Michelle
Twenty-five years ago, at the age of twenty-five, I gave birth to a son. What I now realize is that at the same time, my newborn son was birthing in me a connection to my spirit and my journey here on earth. A connection I had not felt until that time.
I had very few memories of my life before giving birth to my son, such as memories of feeling truly alive, of experiencing a sense of self or expressing tremendous joy. Whether from trauma, repression, dissociation, my life before the birth of my child was a kind of blur: moving through the days and years, but not really connecting with my emotions, not connecting with a deeper life-force. Even planning his birth was a kind of surreal experience. His dad was quite a bit older, and we came together, not so much out of a traditional, romantic, love, but to have a child together.
But giving birth to my son awakened a deeper life-force within me. And because of that life-force, I developed a unique relationship with this beautiful child and a deep connection to my own soul.
When he made little gurgling sounds, I would talk to him about love and family. When he graduated to a highchair and made little attempts at words, I would nod, spoon-feed him, and whisper “sweet nothings” such as the importance of living each moment fully. I would voice to him my search for purpose and love and the importance of loving one another.
When he started school, we would continue our esoteric, which he named “Moments w/ Ma.” Rarely mundane, we talked about friendships he enjoyed, subjects he wanted to study and my own thoughts about living a life meaningful life. We found ourselves telling the stories of lives in the present moment.
During his teen years, Moments w/ Ma were often met by a rolling of my son’s eyes, but we continued to listen to one another as I discussed how I often worried for his safety and well-being, how he felt about preparing for college and where our lives and paths were headed. We offered one another suggestions and asked questions.
Throughout his high school and college years and my many career changes, we continued our talks . . . from nature and culture and racism, to world travel and ancient world civilizations and the cosmos. He decided our talks and stories needed an updated name, so they become “Vibelifting w/ Ma.” And still today, that’s what we do.
But what is most fascinating is that I remember all those talks, all those stories! I have come to remember my life and have been able to bring the many fragmented parts of my life together. I have learned to hold memories and stories and allow them to inform and guide my soul. I am even beginning to remember my life before the birth of my son as well. . . I am no longer afraid of what I will find in those experiences. By tapping into my past, I understand that the stories and experiences in my life are meaningful, they are worth remembering, they are my greatest teachers. They provide insight into the meaning of my life. I no longer need to repress them. I have learned to trust and listen to their Voices, my own inner wisdom. Whether they are stories of trauma, happiness, joy, or grief, they guide me on my soul’s journey and remind me of my deeper purpose on this earth.
Today, as a documentarian, my life’s work is to touch lives through stories and memories. My purpose is to capture the lives and stories of others in the moment – to give them a sense of who they were, how they have become, and the way in which their life is always meaningful.
The Voice of Inner Courage by Christine
God, grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
This Serenity Prayer transformed my life. I had been reciting it to myself for over a year, when one day, something awoke in me. The meaning of each word came alive. I realized that I had choices. Although there were areas in my life that I had to accept, there were other areas that I could step into with strength and courage and change.
At the time, I was in my early 30’s living in Phoenix and in a job that was a weight and a stress that I could no longer bear. I felt totally stuck. I needed the work and money, but after three years I had become unhappy and felt burdened by my job. Something had to give.
I grew up in a family and a faith that demanded I think of myself and my choices in a very narrow way. Choices were right or wrong; they depended on making a living and success, not happiness and contentment.
However, after holding this Serenity Prayer in my consciousness for so long, the significance of it finally reached down into my unconscious and resonated with my soul. I felt that I was finally free to decide my future. I was filled with an inner courage that I didn’t realize I had.
Realizing that I could change the course of my life was a tremendous insight for me. I could step away from the unhappiness of my job. And so I resigned and planned to move to another city. However, I was immediately offered a different position in the same company, a position that suited my needs and personality much better. So I stayed on with the company. But now, I could finally enjoy life and my career again.
Interestingly enough, I was also planning to move to another city after I resigned from my original position. But before the move, I decided to take a girlfriend out for her birthday to a restaurant that also had music and dancing.
And of course, this happy, courageous and contented me, met a guy at that restaurant who asked me to dance. He was only in Phoenix for 24 hours to pick up a car for a friend and drive it back to Denver where he lived. We kept in touch for a number of months and then on a whim, I looked for jobs in Denver in my area. Within a week, I received a job offer, and soon after moved to Denver. After dating a number of years, my guy and I married.
Realizing that my Soul has the “courage to change the things I can” has been such a gift; it has guided me for the past 30 years, for I learned that I can trust her yearnings and her deep commitment to my happiness. Now in my 60’s and having just retired, I value this courage to change even more. Knowing that my Soul has the capacity to find new ways of living and listening is truly a Gift of Grace.
The voice of love, the voice of spirit, the voice of our inner wisdom. . . They are all the same. When we connect with one, we connect with them all. To follow that inner voice of love is also to know “from where we came” and “to where we are going.”
As all of these experiences illustrate, stepping into self-acceptance, courage and self-love opens our hearts so that we can let go of anxiety and anger and more forward with purpose and awareness. When our self-love and our inner wisdom are working in sync, we are more likely to make decisions that are right for our souls.
This is not to say that we must know how to love ourselves fully before we can hear and listen to our intuitive know. That intuitive knowing is always with us. But when we haven’t learned to love and accept ourselves, our lack of love and our intuitive knowing are at odds. We often find ourselves struggling to come to terms with what is right for us and how to seek what is best for us. We seek for happiness based on our anxiety, anger or lack of confidence, rather than love and acceptance of who we are. We might hear a lot of internal voices, but may not have the confidence or awareness to make life decisions that benefit our lives.
But also, as these lives illustrate, the process of self-love takes time. Even if it takes a life time, the journey is worth it, for our inner wisdom, that intuitive knowing is always there, patiently waiting for us to say YES to.
And so I Invite you to ask yourself
- What do you love about yourself? What is that one, big, good quality that you enjoy about YOU? Just start there! Every day, add one quality or attribute that makes you your unique and special self. Keep going. Don’t stop adding to your list.
- Once in a while, go back over your list and add a WHY to the quality you listed. Why do you love this about yourself. Keep going.
- Then for every month of love-qualities, add one aspect of yourself that you want learn to accept about yourself (like it or not). How might you be better off if you simply accept this part of yourself?
- Now go back to your love qualities. Over the next six to twelve months notice if your feelings about yourself begin to shift. Also, notice if your feelings about others begin to shift as well.