Inside all of us is the constant inner monologue that runs from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. For many of us the inner voice that sits inside our heads is usually a repetitive cycle of things that have happened or things we wish would happen. The repetition of a catchy jingle or an annoying pop song that just won’t quit and comments that we decide to keep to ourselves clog up the empty silence. It’s harmless enough and sometimes the inner voice works it’s way out and that’s ok, but what if that inner monologue is one of doubt? What if that voice is speaking of guilt or anger?
We’ve all done things throughout our time on this planet that we’re not proud of, things that embarrass us or leave us feeling stupid and that inner voice is all too quick to repeat it over and over again. Like the time you called a teacher ‘Mum’ or hung up the phone by saying ‘love you bye’ to the wrong person. Or what about the time you fell off of your bike on a busy street or your jeans ripped in a crowded room? What about the time you said something you shouldn’t have, the time you hurt someone’s feelings or stole something or broke someone’s heart? What about all of the times that you played the villain instead of the victim? Your inner voice isn’t so easy to keep quiet then and that’s when you have to ask yourself, “how do I move on with myself?”.
There are those who don’t feel guilt or remorse for what they’ve done and I believe that the rest of us feel it for them. The term ‘forget about it’ circulates amongst peers but the inner voice won’t allow it. That voice acts as a saboteur trying to trip you up at every unsuspecting moment; you could be walking along the street when all of a sudden you think of something that makes you stop and wonder why you did the things you did or said the things you did. Speaking from experience, I know there are things that I have done to people I really did love that are inexcusable on every level of the spectrum and if you are by some chance reading this, know that it weighs on me every day, but that’s another story for another day.
Then comes one of life’s most important lessons, learn to live with it. How? That’s up to you. Some people drink, some smoke or scream or write it down, turn it in to art and never let it see the light of day. Some of us do forget about it and refuse to let it rule our lives, put it away and realise that what’s done is done and nothing can change that. By holding on to it, however, our inner voice is tamed and fools us into believing that by somehow never forgiving ourselves for it at makes it better. To forget about the thing that makes you feel guilty would be to act as it never happened and to do that would be to relieve yourself of the pain you believe you deserve to feel.
There is a third option. One acts never spoken about, one that needs to work itself out along side the inner monologue that wishes to hold you hostage. Feel guilty, feel sorry for what you’ve done, but learn to live with it. I’ve previously written about the ‘Forgive and forget’ mantra and this applies to your own wrong doings. You can live with the things you’ve done without having to burn yourself alive everyday within your own head. If you can’t learn to live with it, or yourself, then it will eat away at you until there’s nothing left and if there’s nothing left there’s nothing to gain. To live with the mistakes you’ve made comes the ability to not repeat them, to not allow more people to fall prey to the destruction you may have already caused. There comes a time when we need to realise that no amount of apologies will fix it but every moment we try not repeat ourselves is every bit as good.
Living with the things we’ve done comes with the added bonus of learning to live with ourselves, to live inside ones head and be truly alone. This takes time. But trust me, it’s worth it.