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If you were punished, discarded, shamed, or attacked for voicing your own perspectives, feelings, senses, and experiences about things, listening to yourself may be fraught with anxiety, fear, resistance, and warnings about what others may do.
Depending on how frequent and how early in your development these kinds of responses happened to you, you may not have any relationship to hearing yourself or listening to yourself.
Listening to myself caused me panic and shame. My hyper-vigilance would scream and my body would freeze.
These intense reactions to listening to myself made sense to me decades later. My healing work revealed a systemic and chronic pattern of abuse where I was threatened with hell and public shaming and then physically harmed for having different perspectives.
Yet, I had found spaces where I could listen to myself and sense into my reality from my view. I did this extensively in computers. It was one of the few domains that were untouched by the abusive authorities around me.
This later became a guide in helping my sense my own voice and helped me free it from the trap of consequence and punishment.
So how does one start to hear their voice while navigating activations of fear and anxiety?
You start with acknowledging the legitimacy of the fear and anxiety. “I feel this because of what I have been through in listening to myself,” is an example. This form of legitimization matters in this situation, as it helps your brain and body comprehend that the anxiety is a result of what you’ve experienced rather than a signal there’s something broken or wrong within you. Instead, the anxiety signals that others did harmful, unsafe things to you in response to listening to yourself.
This shows your body and brain you are listening and comprehending what it says. Often, this eases those louder voices. This allows you to take the next step: Pausing, Acknowledging, and Observing what ELSE you’re aware of beyond those voices.
This is where your voice can speak up louder. It usually comes in with a sense of stillness, centeredness, or peace in the body. It tends to calm the mind, slowing thoughts down or it going silent entirely for a moment.
In that space, you may begin to notice other signals. They may come in as sensations, non-emotional knowings, images, or sounds. This is where you are tapping into YOUR guidance.
This can be activating!
This kind of shift and work requires slowness and doing it in short bursts over long periods of time. This allows your body and mind to grow in a sense of familiarity, safety, and trust with it.
When I started, I did this for 1 minute increments a few times a day over several months. I coupled it with regulation of the intense emotions, and later one, doing deeper work on those hurts and pains using somatic processing approaches.
For now, you can start to nurture a new, safer experience with listening to your own voice by acknowledging and legitimizing any anxiety, distress, or pain that arises while listening to what else you are aware of.
I recommend using the Pause-Acknowledge-Observe tool along with the Daily Regulation Practice tool to help facilitate this.
Here are the links for those tools:
Daily Regulation Practice: https://drp.freetheself.com