Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Voices

My earliest recovery began with A Course in Miracles. I was visiting my sister in California (I had run away from another relationship), and my sister came home from her job as Director of Education at a church and mentioned that a woman at work was teaching a class in how to make miracles happen. Something in her casual comment was just odd enough and just right enough that I had to know more. My sister brought me some articles from this woman and handouts from the class. It turned out that the woman was teaching a class in The Course in Miracles.

When I returned to Baltimore I found a Miracles study group at Ruscombe Mansion. In that group were people who participated in 12 step programs. Today I know how common that is but back then it felt like its own miracle that I should find in the group the ticket to the next stage of my recovery.

Recently I picked up the book, “Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow” by Karen Casey. Since I have been working on changing my thinking this title seemed to fit right in line. Of course, in a few minutes reading, I realized that Karen Casey is a Course in Miracles teacher and many of her thought changing concepts come from practicing The Course.

In one chapter she talks about learning to hear BOTH of the voices inside us. She says:

“There are always two voices present in our minds. One of them is quite loud and will always misdirect our thinking and our actions. It’s the voice that keeps us stuck in old behaviors and feeds our fears, our anger and constant discontent. The other voice, which is just as present but so much quieter, is ceaselessly conveying words of love and gratitude and hope and kindness. It’s the voice that comforts us. This voice makes us whole and ready to embrace the lessons we know are waiting for us.”

The challenge is how to tune out or turn down the volume of the louder voice and tune in the softer gentler voice. Casey says, “It’s not difficult to do but it requires breaking old, well-honed habits.”

I know now that we have many names for these voices. The first, loud one is the schema, the critical voice, the inner critic or the old tapes. The second, softer voice is the voice of recovery, healing, God and the small still voice of intuition and wisdom. It is also the voice that is built in to counter the schema. Someday we will learn that the small voice is installed at the same time as the scary schema voice. We are always given the solution when we are given the problem. Figure and ground may shift but they have both always been there.

No comments: