Why I no longer listen to the maniac in my head
“My life was an open suitcase and clothes were strewn all over the place.”–Amy Poehler
When you write a book, the manuscript goes back and forth between you and your editor like a ping pong ball. Right now, the designed PDF of Thank & Grow Rich, my book that debuts in August, is on my side of the table. I am looking it over one last time before it goes to the printer, never to be changed again.
So, I thought I’d run a short excerpt here on the blog. This is from the chapter called Static where I list the many things that gunk up our joy and gratitude frequency. The little asshat in our head, I’ve discovered, that imposter that pretends to be us, is one of the biggest deterrents to the Divine Buzz.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below:
Waterboarding has nothing on the torture that used to take place in my brain. A nonstop voice loop reminded me of all that was lacking in my life. This obnoxious voice (think Miss Trunchbull, the sadistic headmistress in Roald Dahl’s Matilda) kept tabs on all I was doing wrong. It made long lists of things I needed to improve.
It insisted I should try really hard to “be a better person.” Its ears perked up anytime someone mentioned a new self-help book. It’s for your own good, it said.
This voice was very clear that something was wrong with me. It told me that, unlike everyone else, I had glaring flaws.
“Pam,” it liked to say, “you don’t quite measure up to other people, the cool people. You aren’t as funny. Your skin’s not as clear. And while you sometimes have a way with words, you’re basically day-old Alpo compared to say Pat Conroy or Mary Karr. You might as well just get in bed and start tomorrow.”
For the longest time, I thought this voice was me. It did a very convincing impersonation. I took the voice to therapy. I explained its opinions about my worth to my friends. I believed that when I voiced its concerns, I was voicing my concerns.
It wasn’t until I began counting my blessings that the other frequency was able to make contact, the still, small one that whispered kind truths. I much preferred what is was saying. It suggested I start focusing on how deeply I am loved. How truly beautiful the world is.
It suggested the most important thing I could do for myself was get happy. Quit judging myself.
The Miss Trunchbull voice, it whispered gently, is not you. It’s a pseudo-Pam that you installed when you were very young, a voice that pretends to be you and pretends to be very, very important.
The still, small voice reminded me that everything I see, everything I believe, is just a story I made up. It told me that, in Truth, I am spirit. I am light. All those voices, those wars going on in my head, are nothing but chunks of the collective consciousness that I can either believe and defend against or I can transmute with gratitude.
The real me, it told me, is kind, giving, in deep communion with all of creation. The real me is a true force for love.
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the about to be released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy