Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why don't we listen...

to the voice inside our head.... Life would be so much less complicated, if that voice inside our head was given the respect it deserves.  The other day, I was chatting with a friend, and we were discussing the words, "I'm sorry." Particularly, how difficult those two little words are so impossible for us, the human race, to say.  She was telling us a story, about how she and her sister were in a fight, and she knew herself to be in the wrong, but the words were bottled up inside of her and she refused to allow them to come out. Her sister was refusing to come to a family gathering until those simple words were said.  My friend finally relented, and with extreme difficulty, texted her sister those dreaded words.  Those dreaded words which release us from the enslavement of our pride.  Her sister immediately texted back and said, "thats all I wanted to hear" and came over immediately.   My friend, as she was telling this story, kept saying, I knew I was in the wrong, but I just couldn't say those words.  Normally, when I make my sisters or other family members a cup of tea, they know that I'm sorry, even when I don't say it and they've accepted that about me.

What is it about those words?  As spectators, we can look into this scene with a critical eye, and judge my friend all we want,  but in truth, most of us struggle with listening to that voice of reason residing within us. The voice that says, friendship is more important than this argument. The voice that says, that doughnut is not on your diet and may taste good but will not make you feel good. The voice that says, don't you have things other than watching T.V. that you should be doing?  Many times, these voices, these conversations within our brains, are depicted by a devil and an angel.  The angel is the voice telling us to be good, and the devil is obviously the tempter, the evil doer, but I disagree with this imagery.  I don't think of it as the good and bad within us engaged in a perpetual tug of war, but rather our impulsive, fun-loving, temper-tantrum throwing child-like side against the reasonable, logical, guarded, serious adult.  The child within us, never wants to reveal injury, and protects our pride with ferocity, but it also is the voice of fun.  It also reminds us that life isn't always about work, but about not just living life but enjoying it.  Our serious adult side attempts to keep us in line with the goals that we keep, whether it be our diets, or our academic and/or work goals.  In my opinion, I think both voices, the logical voice and the impulsive voice have a valid place in our lives, but sometimes we struggle with which one should be listened to at which point in our lives.  The story I'm about to relate is a perfect example of when the child-like side should be thrown by the way-side. Sadly, however, the winner of the tug-o-war was the child-like side resulting in a painful and unnecessary blister.

Kyle and I generally make three dishes a week for our meals.  Two of our meals that we'd made recently, required bread.  (Bread wasn't really required but desired) So we decided that we would make honey jalepeno drop biscuits for our soup and for the buns of our black bean burgers. (Turns out they didn't make very good buns)  The trick for the honey, was to pour it on top a few mintues before they came out.  On the last batch of biscuits that came out however, my child-like side screamed in utter delight at the golden, crystalline,  delicious looking honey bubbled on the aluminum foil next to one the scrumptious biscuits.  "Eat it!" my child-like side yelped in unbridled anticipation.  I heard the logical side caution in serious tones, "thats not a wise idea.  You know what will happen." but for some reason, I didn't listen to logic, but instead to impulse.  Sticking my index finger into a sizzling hot glob of honey was possibly one of the dumbest ideas I've had in a long time. What was I thinking? A scream filled the apartment, as my finger sizzled into a painful blister of both physical anguish, and wounded pride, which two weeks later, is still callused. It's not always easy to determine which voice should be listened to, but in this case it should have been simple, and for some reason, I chose to burn myself.

What are some moments in your life when you listened to the wrong voice?  When have you literally or metaphorically burned yourself?

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