In the last couple of episodes I talked primarily about beliefs and how your thoughts create your reality. I shared quite a few statistics that I will continue to bring up like how 90-95% of what you do is based on your belief systems and the 50-80,000 thoughts you have in a single day, 90% of those thoughts are recycled from the past. This episode is all about the voice in your head and most importantly how the voice in your head is not you.
I went down a path of self-destruction in my 20’s. I was an alcoholic. I was reckless. My diet was terrible, I got drunk nearly every day, I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, was 60 pounds overweight and I would drive a vehicle while intoxicated on the regular. Deep down I didn’t want to be here anymore and was finding all these other ways to have me leave this place. After replaying the events in my life I finally got the mental clarity on how I ended up hitting bottom at the age of 28 and it was one major discovery.
I discovered that the voice in my head is what brought me down that path. I believed everything it said. I thought I was a loser, a disappointment, a terrible person, whatever self-critical thought you can think of -- it crossed my mind. Actually the big message I discovered is more along the lines of, the voice in my head is not me & the things it says are not true. Although there is more to my story.
When I was 35 years old I did an ayahuasca ceremony that opened me up to a repressed memory which was actually the missing puzzle piece to my entire life story. I witnessed a heinous act of rape when I was 3 or 4 out back in the woods behind my house. Right in the middle of the day when the sun was bright and warm. I still don’t know who was involved and a big part of me doesn’t want to know. It was a defining moment for me. I was frozen in fear and I couldn’t say anything even though I wanted to scream. It’s when I lost my voice. I no longer could speak the things that were happening inside of me, especially the things that felt the most uncomfortable.
I had to go to two different preschools, one in the morning and in the afternoon a bus would shuttle me all the way across town to the other, because for a 3 month period of time I didn’t speak to anyone except for my mother. The world became the most dangerous place, but more so there was a deep seated belief, connected to very strong emotions that people were dangerous. I’m certain it was a family member who performed this aggressive act of violation and from that point on I had to be really careful around people, especially the people I didn’t know.
I became the shyest kid in the world. I became hyper aware and alert of other people. People were a threat to me. I believe the most dangerous thing that can happen to a kid -- is if that kid doesn’t feel safe talking about what’s going on inside of him or her. Suicide has gone up over the years, especially for teens. It’s all because the voice in our head becomes a monster and we believe that monster.
In that first episode I spoke of the hero’s journey and how each and everyone of us is out to overcome the villain in our life. The villain is the monster that lives in our head. No one else is going to punish you more than that voice and this episode is all about bringing awareness to the voice that pretends to be you. It’s a liar and it’s the cause of all you’re suffering. I said last podcast how separation is the cause of all suffering. The voice in your head is what causes that separation. It separates you from your true self, from others and a higher power or intelligence that each of us carries and holds inside of us.
It’s what is called the Ego and the Ego is something separate from the purest essence of who we are and it has evolved over time to keep us safe and alive. Now that we have all this technology that has allowed us to live a more comfortable life, it appears that this component of us, the voice, causes more harm than good now. Something that once was used to keep us alive, now is the one thing that has caused a drastic increase in suicide, especially in younger people.
My thoughts about suicide started when I was 11. I always felt like a victim to my circumstances and would feel sorry for myself. I always wondered what it would be like if I wasn’t here anymore. How my family and classmates would react. It was weird but it made me feel something, something that I had control over in a place where I felt like I had no control.
The more critical that voice becomes the more dangerous it becomes. After that event that I witnessed at the age of 3 or 4 my subconscious mind buried the event deep into a vault for me to never find because it was too painful a memory to relive. Although it created programs to help me remain safe. I became invisible. I won’t tell you a darn thing about me, because that kind of information is a threat. I would freeze up around men that I deemed as powerful. I would withhold information from everyone, because you knowing anything about me is dangerous. It would take me several encounters to open up just a crack to the people I first met.
It’s the reason I used alcohol to feel comfortable when talking to other people. When I got sober at the age of 30 I had a new set of problems. I felt completely uncomfortable around strangers. I’m talking about high levels of anxiety in all conversations even with family and friends. There were maybe a handful of people I felt truly comfortable with.
I was eventually diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder in my later 30’s, a disorder that causes people to avoid other’s because the critical voice becomes too much, the anxiety around people becomes too much, the internal shame and low self-esteem become too much to bear when you are around other people. I created an entire reality inside of my own head that was so far and distant from other people’s realities.
I held onto my past and I would just carry it with me as if it happened yesterday. You don’t grow unless you learn from your mistakes and I wasn’t learning. I was just replaying the memories and the conversations to myself over and over again. Developing and growing the meanest person to ever co-exist with. I lived with this person my entire life and it was a natural progression of how much meaner and persistent he became.
It didn’t become overbearing until my mid 20’s. I spent a majority of my time in my head with my own thoughts. I’d replay every conversation I would have with people multiple times over and if it was an emotionally triggering conversation it would ruin my entire day because I’d replay that conversation a thousand times over in my own head.
I hid all this internal dialogue, suffering and conflict from the world. I pretended everything was okay. Perception was so important and if I could fool everyone then I would survive just fine in this world. Yet overtime more and more people would be cut out of my life. If you wronged me in any way I would remove you from my circle or if I wronged you I was too much of a coward to clean it up so I would avoid you at all costs. Until that circle dwindled. I started avoiding everyone, my neighbors, my family, and my friends. My entire life I lived in shame. I was ashamed of who I was, who I became and my entire past was the evidence of the loser I had become.
I was able to go to work, sit in my cubicle for 8 hours, have minimal conversations throughout the day, go home and drink in front of the television watching mindless shows like reality TV. I developed a pattern of becoming more isolated and the way I lived was very close to being a complete recluse. I was miserable too. I didn’t like anything about my life.
I stumbled upon success in my glory years of high school. A place where over time I could get to know people and develop a level of comfort and confidence. I was voted most likely to succeed and after high school I went in the complete opposite direction. The worst part about it is that I became a jerk, arrogant and completely self-absorbed. I never had a healthy self-esteem so to have stumbled upon success at such a young age was not a good thing for me. It completely skewed the internal dialogue in my head, confusing me, and giving me the ammunition to punish myself when that success ran dry.
In college I was a small fish in a big pond. I didn’t know it takes years for me to feel comfortable sharing myself with new people I meet. At university I was a nobody. I was still bragging about my successes from high school. I had no dreams, no goals, no ambition. After four years of partying, playing video games and being completely irresponsible I had to drop out of college while everyone else around me was graduating. I was so embarrassed of my life. I went to rehab, worked for a temp agency and it was in my early 20’s that I started developing the monster in my head.
I would always replay the question, “How did I end up being a loser after being voted most likely to succeed?” It was a paradox to me. This conversation would happen daily. This is what I’m talking about when I speak of the voice in your head. All it takes is one thought to go down this rabbit hole of self-inflicted pain. I found myself spending most of my time talking to myself about how much of a loser I was and I wasn’t even consciously aware of it. I really wasn’t. Most of what happens in our own heads happens unconsciously.
I also had all the evidence in the world for why this was true. Only to later find out how false this was. It was just a belief I created and repeated over and over again in my head. I spent most of my time in my head so I was probably having the higher end of the spectrum of thoughts. If you can imagine having 80,000 thoughts a day and 95-99% of them being negative. This is why I call it hell. Being raised Catholic it wasn’t until I landed in this place of self-debilitating thinking that I discovered what hell actually was.
Heaven and hell exists here on earth. I got a better understanding of this when I read the uncanonize gnostic gospel discovered in the 1940’s called the Book of Thomas. I stepped away from the church in my early 20’s only to get reconnected to Christ teachings through this nearly destroyed gospel. The book of Thomas was destroyed by the Roman Empire to the point of non-existence and I believe only one single copy of it was discovered in 1945 in an Egyptian tomb. It’s from the Nag Hammadi library and many other gospels were found in this library.
The book of Thomas contains 114 of Christ sayings all written in an esoteric or hidden message. A gentlemen by the name of H. W. Hodgetts wrote a book with his interpretations and here is the main message I got from the book. The kingdom of heaven or hell is within you. The kingdom is the mind and your mind can take you on a path towards heaven or hell. If you were like me and internalized everything, avoided their problems, avoided responsibility, moving backwards instead of forwards and believing the voice in your head is speaking truth, than you will end up where I ended up --- in the kingdom of hell.
If there are enough thoughts in your head that separate you from your true self, other people and higher power – something very scary happens. The thoughts about ending your life pop up more and more. When I hit bottom at 28 it was the scariest time of my life. It’s almost as if it’s a default mechanism getting triggered.
In the metaphorical realm it’s as if your internal flame is about to extinguish and when that happens thoughts of ending your own life come up out of nowhere. I was too terrified to do this. I couldn’t end my own life and I also was terrified about where these thoughts were coming from? I believe this is what happens to every single person who ends their own life.
The thoughts aren’t us, it’s our ego and they come because the pain becomes too much and we are hard wired to have these thoughts of suicide when it gets to that point. Maybe because the survival mind thinks the best choice when experiencing all that pain is to just leave this place. I also believe in the invisible components to us and that leaving this physical reality is not that significant. We just lost the game or we flunked out of school. Although life is all about knowledge, growth and wisdom and it does occur as a setback.
Your mind is your most important asset. If you understood how this universe works and how powerful your mind actually is you would be unstoppable. You would create an amazing life for yourself. Start with the voice in your head. Realize that the 50-80,000 thoughts you are saying to yourself have no relevance to who you are as a person and where you want to end up in life.
Great spiritual teachers and leaders always talk about quieting the mind. This is why meditation is raved about! If you can become a master of your thoughts than you can become a master at life. Because the thoughts that randomly pop up throughout the day --- they don’t’ matter. Most of them don’t serve you. Most of them want to stop you from achieving your goals and dreams because they are connected to limiting beliefs from the past. You may be better off with amnesia than the thoughts in your head.
Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Indian gurus like Sadguru all talk about quieting the mind. I know exactly what they speak of. When I was at the Hypnotherapy Academy in New Mexico it was ten weeks of pure bliss. I sat in a classroom being intently engaged in this fresh, new content I was learning, we were either hypnotizing or being hypnotized in the practice rooms. I would meditate on my breaks. I was living out of a van with no bills, rent, mortgage, wife, kids or a care in the world.
After the ten weeks I was in a zen like state. When I moved to Denver afterwards I was so able to stay in the present moment. I could focus and concentrate on reading and writing. I remained there for about a month and then eventually the stupid voice in my head returned in full force after I started my own business and I had a whole new set of problems to deal with. I am addicted to my thoughts because I spent so many years developing the pattern of being so attached to my thoughts.
I have not mastered the villain or monster in my head, but I get closer each day and will be looking to do a 10 day Vipassana here in Colorado which is a ten day meditation retreat completely cut off from the outside world. Imagine spending 10 hours a day for 10 days meditating? It will be challenging at first and I’m also certain I’ll have some mystical experiences like I’ve had through meditation in the past. Meditation is the greatest hidden secret that many people haven’t quite discovered yet.
I’ve been meditating for years and it took me a solid year to get good at it. I would frequently give up on it because my thoughts would never quiet. You must know the more you do it the better you will get at it and if you just allowed yourself 15 minutes a day to practice this skill you would eventually be able to master it. Just be patient and don’t’ quit on it.
I’m even to go as far as to say that this should be apart of your everyday routine of life. You will be more peaceful, less stressed, clear headed, happier, more productive and efficient if you meditated daily. This is a way of life that if you took on you would see exponential benefits. Otherwise you are going to be cluttered with your thoughts where a majority of them don’t serve you. Do you know how many of the same conversations you are having daily? A lot, trust me.
There is a great book called the Untethered Soul that talks about the voice in your head if you wanted to get a deeper understanding of this voice. The thing is that you will never be able to completely quiet the voice in your head but if you could disassociate yourself from the voice in your head then you could be an observer to it, just like a conversation you overhear in the coffee shop. You can hear the chatter but it doesn’t impact you. It doesn’t affect you.
The Untethered Soul talks about the voice in your head being your roommate. It’s not you, but someone that lives with you. Have you ever had a roommate before? Do you believe everything your roommate says? Have you ever had a roommate who was compulsive liar? Well that’s the closest thing to the voice in your head will ever be. A roommate. Can you step away from that voice and live your life without acknowledging a thing it says? Once you have done that you have become a master!!
Each and every one of us can discover the kingdom of heaven. We just need to learn the rules of life and one of the rules is that the voice in your head is not you. It’s your Ego and your Ego is there to protect you and keep you alive. In a world where we have more comforts, safety and security, the Ego runs loose impacting our day to day lives, creating programs that are completely unnecessary. It’s a process and it’s like getting in shape to be able to quiet or disassociate from the voice in our head.
This is how you win the hero’s journey, by defeating the villain aka the monster in your head. That’s 50-80,000 thoughts to manage a day. Sounds daunting, but if you shift your belief systems than the thoughts shift immediately. If you rewrite one single core limiting belief you shift hundreds to thousands of limiting thoughts in the process. That’s why I love what I do. I help people move towards heaven by finding and reversing the limiting beliefs and thoughts from the mind. Thanks for listening!!