Your inner dialogue holds the language of your heart.
It’s not just that interminable self-chatter that occupies most people in their waking hours.
It’s the language of your feelings, from the most transitory to the deepest and most profound. It’s the language that reflects and simultaneously shapes your self of self, your expectations and your self-esteem.
It’s the language of your worthiness to love and be loved, and your ability to navigate successfully the currents in the river of your own life. In this sense, it truly is the language of your heart. If the language of your inner dialogue isn’t clear, precise and pure, how do you suppose that impacts your peace of mind, your ability to feel joy and your sense of self-worth?
If you’ve been following our blog, you already know what we think about the beatings you’ve taken — through no fault of your own — in terms of your ability to regulate your inner dialogue successfully. You know what we think about the language of the marketplace in popular culture and its horrible effects on your sensibilities.
Obviously, some of us are stronger and more resistant than others, but it’s clear that far too many people have succumbed. They’ve altered their inner dialogues to reflect the values and priorities of a society in which rabid partisan politics and thinking, spiritual and religious extremism, and the general amorality of consumerism have far more credibility than they deserve.
We’re all affected.
These influences have polluted the language of our hearts. They’ve stunted our ability to chart our own courses clearly, and to speak with ourselves honestly and candidly. They’ve caused too many of us to put kindness and integrity after other, less worthy attributes. They’ve certainly sapped our intellectual, emotional and spiritual resources, and left us dependent on more of the same toxic junk.
You can refresh the language of your heart.
It takes some work. It’s not always easy, and you may have to “fake it ’til you make it,” at least some of the time. You can start by adopting these practices in reforming your inner dialogue:
- Eliminate the language of self-condemnation from your inner dialogue.
This is another way of saying that you can’t afford to beat yourself up after the fact for things you’ve said or done, or for something you wish you’d done differently. We all make mistakes that can bother of us if we let them — but self-condemning language perpetuates the negative feelings you experienced at the time. If you did something wrong, or haven’t met your own expectations in some way, treat such matters as learning opportunities. They have value ONLY as learning opportunities, so own responsibility for these things. Embrace them in that way and think about what you’ll do both differently and better in the future.
- Abandon regret.
Regret is the enemy of clarity and purity in your inner dialogue, mostly because it keeps you from embracing each moment as a new opportunity to know peace. It takes you away from intentional clarity because it forces you to walk backwards into the future. It keeps you from positive growth because it anchors you to events or memories that keep you locked into past moments.
Stop that. Right now.
- Abandon the language of comparison.
If you use the language of comparison (“good, better, best”) in your inner dialogue, that’s okay. You just have to restrict its use to mundane matters that have nothing to do with your happiness or your ability to achieve intentional clarity. As soon as you start using it to talk about your own worth and status, your potential, your joy or your most important relationships, you’re on a dangerous slippery slope.
Why? Because you’re not striving for your own highest ideals. Instead, you’re evaluating yourself relative to the behavior, appearance, goals or “success” of others. It also keeps you “jones-ing” in all kinds of unhealthy ways.
That never works.
Never. And most people do it anyway. That’s why they’re never satisfied with anything or anyone (themselves included) for very long. So instead, define your own goals and expectations. Worry less about what others have, or about what they’re thinking, saying and doing.
- Remember that inspiration flows from a state of intentional clarity.
When we talk about “inspiration,” we’re not referring only to those things many spiritual writers describe as “inspirational.” We use the term to describe what you perceive and understand and feel in moments of sudden insight. We’ve all had such moments from time to time, when your senses seem heightened, your understanding is sharper and deeper, and your ability to draw conclusions and understand difficult ideas is greater.
Inspirations themselves are the conclusions you draw and the ideas you’re suddenly able to grasp in those moments. They can be about anything.
Anything at all.
And if you think about it carefully, you’ll see that your inspirations (and your inspiration, which is an even bigger thing) flow from a state of intentional clarity. They flow when your mind is calm, your inner dialogue is simple, clean and accurate, and ego-related turbulence is well in check. When you’re able to develop that state of clarity and hold it continuously, inspiration flows naturally, as does your ability to identify and experience your own peace and joy.
The key is the ability to refine your inner dialogue.
When you can rediscover the language of your heart and make it the substance of that dialogue, intentional clarity is a mere breath away.
We want you to create your own inspirations. Define your own highest ideals. Live every moment from that perspective, and be a living example to those around you, gently and kindly — not from ego or lack or a need to be admired, but as a by-product of who you really are in every moment.
You can believe us when we tell you that if you can do that, you’ll find inspiration in every breath you take.
Our best to you, always,
David & Kathryn