Happy Monday, Goose Army!  Okay, so we’re sitting at around 550 members…so maybe we’re really just a small gang.  But we’re getting there.  World Domination takes time, I guess.  But, feel free to tell a friend and maybe we’ll increase our numbers to the point that we can at least stage a coup in a smallish country.

Anyhoozles, let’s talk about the “Two Voices” today, shall we?  It’s a positive message and a great way to start your week.  Especially if you have a Monday through Friday job and need motivation in dealing with the jackholes at your place of employment.

Let’s begin:

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Imagine driving your car down the street, music playing, you feel good, life is good, the sun is out and shining, you had a good breakfast, your mental health is in check, bills are paid–this is a day that The Struggle™ hasn’t got you down.

Then you see some critter walking down the street who shouldn’t be wearing something that they are wearing.

Immediately, as happy as you are, you think, “Oooooh, look at this fat motherfucker right here.”  You give them the FtToTH.  That’s the chemical formula for “From the Top of They Head”.  It’s where you look someone over from top to bottom and assess everything about them, trying to decide why they thought they could get away with whatever it is that they are currently wearing, doing, saying, etc.

Do you know what that is?  That’s the asshole who lives in your head that society installed as part of some fucked-up social program.

We all have it.  Well, there are some enlightened folks that haven’t allowed themselves to be corrupted by society’s nonsense who don’t do the FtToTH–but they’re like unicorns.

Society tells us that people of a certain body type shouldn’t wear <blank>.  People of color shouldn’t act <blank>.  Women shouldn’t <blank>.  Men shouldn’t <blank>. People that aren’t/don’t do <blank> shouldn’t do <blank>.   There are a million and one things that society has taught us about behavior and beauty that are just fucking wrong.

We’ve been so programmed to think that if we see a heavy person with a particular outfit on or participating in a particular activity it’s wrong.  We’ve been programmed to believe this thing is more beautiful than that thing.  We’ve been programmed to think that this gender does this and that gender does that.  We’ve been programmed to think that cis-heterosexual people are allowed PDAs but other couples are not.  We’re programmed to think so many things.

It’s toxic, exhausting, counterproductive, and just plain evil.

I remember the other day (which, in my book, is anywhere from yesterday to 27 years ago), I was riding in a car with my boyfriend, and I saw a heavy person (like I’m not fat as hell) wearing a too tight shirt.  I said, “oooh, he shouldn’t be wearing that.”  I was met with a cocked eyebrow.

“What? Can’t you see this?” I had said.

“I can.  But I choose not to listen to my first voice.”  That was his response.

So, of course, I was like, “Are you schizophrenic?  Because that’s something you should’ve told me when we first started dating two years ago.

It was explained to me that one, I am also a “heavy fellow”, so I should be more compassionate.  That kind of hurt, since my boyfriend was as thin as a twig.  Yeah, imagine that visual.  I got a minute for you to push that out of your brain.  Anyhoozles, two, I was told by him that we have two voices in our heads.  The first one that says ugly shit that isn’t true is the one that we’ve been programmed to use by society.  The second voice, if we wait long enough without vocalizing that first thought, is the voice that pops up and says, “Good for them.  Show it off, baby!

My boyfriend said, “When you think these toxic things, it isn’t always your fault–but when you act upon those thoughts, it’s no one’s fault but your own.  When you have those thoughts, take a breath, and wait for the second voice to speak up.”

I was a little churlish about it because I’d just been scolded very eloquently and compassionately.  But, over days and weeks of observing the way my boyfriend behaved in situations like the one we had been through, I became inspired.  I started taking a pause when I had toxic thoughts.  I waited for that second voice.  And, I’ll be fucked sideways, if I waited, that second voice always popped up.  That second voice started out as a whisper, but over time, it grew pretty damn loud.  Now, it mostly drowns out that first voice.

Now, don’t get me wrong–if someone is BEHAVING like an asshole, I let that first voice takeover.  I don’t put up with people acting a damn fool (i.e. being rude, racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, etc.), but I don’t automatically feel like someone who is doing something that isn’t “normal” for them is a bad thing.  Big folks can show off their biscuits if they feel good about it.  Women don’t have to “act like ladies”–manspread ladies, air it out!  I hear ya’!  It’s hot as balls up in here!

Now, since that time, my sister has encapsulated this philosophy in a quick little snippet.  She says: “You can think whatever you want.

So, today, this Monday, why not start to practice listening for your second voice?  Ignore that first asshole and just listen.  It’s there.  You just have to let it stretch its legs.  It’ll pop up.  It’ll be quiet at first…but keep letting it practice its skills.  Soon…very soon…that first asshole will move to the background and the second voice will start singing loudly and happily automatically.

Have a Happy Monday, Goose Army!

I gotta go.

Until next time…

 

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10 thoughts on “The Two Voices

  1. Okay, so, yeah, I guess I should be kind and good, etc. But as immature as I am, I still enjoy having fun people watching. Judge me all you want, I mean no harm, BUT DON’T TAKE AWAY MY PEOPLE-WATCHING FUN, ALLEN! I NEED THIS!
    Mona

  2. My spiritual counselor has a similar opinion, but it’s a bit more “people are inherently good.” She says that the first “voice” we hear is geared toward compassion and helpfulness, but it’s often drowned out by the second “voice,” which is more selfish and petty–the socially ingrained voice. And we have to ignore that voice and get back to our inherent urge, which is toward kindness.

    I’ve dealt with enough awful people that I’m not entirely sold on the whole “people are inherently good” thing, but I do try to check that judgmental, selfish, rude, generally shitty voice as much as possible, no matter when it chimes in.

  3. Very true this. Presuming what somebody’s like because of the way they look. It took me a lot of time to sit in a bar alone and have a drink, lunch or coffee etc because a bad marriage had knocked all my confidence out of me. Before this if I saw someone sitting in a bar alone I’d think there was something, well I don’t know what I thought, maybe that there’s no way I could do that. But now I am alone, and my confidence has returned ill sit and have lunch alone and be proud and say fuck it!! I think it’s great to see the person that’s goes against the norm, and I want to give them a pat on the back and say good for you!!!

    1. A lot of my friends have told me in the past how “weird” it is that I LOVE going to lunch by myself, to the movies by myself…Hell, I want to enjoy myself, not listen to other people prattle on about stuff I couldn’t care less about. Maybe that’s just how introverted I am…but I do enjoy a solo lunch/dinner or movie.

  4. We’re all critics aren’t we? I mean, there are entire industries devoted to that first voice. We judge, we deride, we ridicule, we let the snark run wild. That first voice has a field day. But Twiggy was right… we all need to take a deep breath and let the second voice have it’s say. The world would be a far better place.
    ( And yes, I’m aware it was the first voice that typed Twiggy… but I’m trying damn it!)

  5. I love that idea! And yes, I’m very guilty of the first voice. I’ve been overweight most of my life, but no matter how heavy I was, if I saw someone heavier than me, I’d say to myself, “I’ll never let myself get THAT big!” I know. I was a twatwaffle. Until one day it hit me…people probably looked at me and said the same thing to themselves. And believe me, anything I said or thought about others wasn’t nearly as bad as what I said or thought about myself! I found when I started being good to myself, my inner asshole was a lot less douchy toward other people. It really is true that in order to love others, we need to love ourselves first. Maybe all those judgy assholes out there hate themselves too. Just a thought! Another great post, my friend!

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