"I don't deserve it. I haven't earned the privilege or the right. I don't work hard enough. I don't have enough money. It's selfish. It's indulgent and self-centered. It's a waste of money. It's impulsive."
"Only self-centered, fancy, rich, shallow people do this. Only people who are joiners, who are weak, who need others. Only people who need external things to make themselves feel better. I don't need that. I can do it on my own. I'm practical. I know how to go without. Look at how well I've done despite depriving myself."
"I can't be away from my family, from my kids. Selfish people choose themselves over their children. I can't ask other people to help me. I can't expect other people's lives to be disrupted for my needs and desires. I can only ask for help if it's dire. I can't ask my partner to do more than he already does. I can't take time and money from my children for myself. I shouldn't have fun unless it's with my family."
"I don't even like groups. What will they think of me? Maybe I'll just be myself. Which self? What if I don't like the people there? What if it's too much time around other people? Or worse, what if I'm not authentic and I waste the precious opportunity? What will I eat? What should I wear? How will I fit in?"
I don't share these thoughts to make you feel bad for me or to tell me I shouldn't think these things. And depending on your relationship with me, it might be hard to hear I have these kinds of thoughts.
I share them to demonstrate how voices in our head operate. They are very real. Very distinct and often very powerful. They have competing fears, needs, and ways of coping. They have a different feeling sense to them: angry, defensive, hopeless, protective, self righteous, vulnerable, etc.
They operate all the time. Mostly in the background, but sometimes right out front. Embrace the opportunity to witness your thoughts no matter how uncomfortable. Get to know the voices in your head. They are driving your feelings and reactions all the time anyway.
I share these to exorcise them from myself. To put them out in the open. The voices lose their power when the light of day comes and are witnessed by myself and others. It's easier to see their lies. It's easier to understand where they came from, how long they've been around and what they are trying to do to help/protect me.
I can see how flimsy their arguments are and how they hold no power over my burning desire to continue to evolve and grow into the person I'm meant to be.
You will have your own feelings when you read this. You might know me and think, "She's messed up. I feel bad for her." Or "She shouldn't feel that way. She's great." Or "I'm relieved to know other people have these kinds of thoughts."
Whatever it is, it doesn't matter to me. But it should be curious to you. Because right then you'll have the opportunity to witness the voice in your own head.