The ABCS of The Inner Voice

A
Acknowledging
Acknowledging is the act of bringing to your conscious awareness whatever is going on inside you in the present moment, exactly how you are experiencing it, without judging it, changing it or fixing it in any way. It’s noticing your thoughts, feelings, sensations and desires and letting them be there exactly the way there.

“You may be afraid of acknowledging ‘negative’ emotions such as fear or anger because you think that such feelings, once acknowledged, will ‘take over.’ The opposite is true. By allowing them, they are free to be felt and pass. By fighting them, they remain with you.”
From I Know I’m in There Somewhere, p. 50


B
Being With
Being With is spending time with your inner experience — a half-minute, a minute, or five or ten. It’s “hanging out” with it, “keeping it company,” in an interested, accepting, gently curious and friendly way, like you would with a friend who’s coming over for coffee or tea, without any expectation that you will change it.

“You know what a difference it makes when you can share a painful feeling with someone who truly knows how to listen lovingly and caringly. It can make even a tragedy feel bearable. In the same way, Being With allows you to keep company with aspects of yourself in a way that makes growth and healing possible.”
From I Know I’m in There Somewhere, p. 51


C
Compassion
Compassion is extending compassion and empathy to those inner parts or places within you that are sad, hurting, scared, angry or upset. It’s recognizing that they have a good (that is, understandable) reason for the way they feel, even if you don’t know what it is yet, and even if, on another level, you disagree with their reasoning. Trying to argue with them to change how those inner places feel is never as effective as extending compassion and understanding to them. When compassion is extended to any part of your self that is stuck in suffering, that part begins to heal.

“Compassion has many names. Gentleness. Empathy. Tenderness. Loving-kindness. Even softness. Compassion, especially self-compassion, is at the very heart of living from your inner voice. Nothing can be accomplished without it; with it, you can bring about miracles. Extend compassion toward the hurt, angry and fearful places, the vulnerable places, the foolish places, the clumsy and ‘defective’ places, and even the darkest, most unacceptable places inside of yourself and others, and you’ll begin to feel a peace, calm and presence within you that you can barely imagine.”
From I Know I’m in There Somewhere, p. 53


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