Silent Voices and the Journey Back to Ourselves

Do you hear it? That quiet little voice. The one whispering softly in the middle of the night saying there must be something more…

Or maybe you don’t hear it. Maybe you feel it.

A sense of restlessness, frustration, or emptiness. A longing… A feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Something is missing.

It could be a slow, dull ache or a searing depression. Either way, the world feels flat. What once provided comfort, meaning, and joy has somehow slipped away.

You look in the mirror and wonder, “where have you gone?” Where has life gone?

But you keep all this to yourself. You don’t tell anyone.

Most people don’t. It’s as if we’re ashamed or embarrassed to admit such things, even to ourselves.

With everything going on in the world — war, catastrophes, injustice, and brutality of every kind — it feels ungracious to have such thoughts and feelings. How self-absorbed and selfish can we be?

So we quickly sweep them under the rug, remind ourselves to be grateful for what we have, and then go about our day.

Or at least we try to.

But those feelings don’t go away. They only grow and intensify.

And then what? What do we do?

We try to fill the emptiness.

We distract ourselves with work, social media, tv, romance, relationships, or whatever else we can to keep busy.

We numb ourselves with drugs and alcohol, chasing an elusive bliss and settling for ephemeral highs.

We tell ourselves that everything is fine. That nothing’s wrong.

We partake in various vices. Give in to dependencies, demons, and addictions of every kind. Anything to cover up the discomfort rumbling down below.

But these tactics only provide temporary relief and don’t create any lasting satisfaction.

Those little voices don’t go away so easily.

So, now what? What can we do?

The only thing left to do is to let go. Let go and wonder…

Wonder what it all means and wonder if there is another way.

Because there is.

Instead of trying to silence the voices or run from them, we can choose to stop.

Stop running, stoping hiding, stop trying to pretend that they aren’t there. Those feelings and voices are real.

Instead of ignoring them, stop for a moment. Stop and just listen. See if you can become open and curious. Then, from this place of curiosity, start exploring and asking questions.

What is that little voice? What does it have to say?

If you are feeling restless, then ask why.

If you are feeling dissatisfied in some way, then how? Where is the feeling of dissatisfaction coming from? What are you not happy with?

If you feel that something needs to change in your life, what could it be?

These are all areas for inquiry and exploration.

It all begins with curiosity.

And it all begins with you. The answers are all lurking within, waiting to be found. You need only look… and listen…

Those whispers have messages for you. The discomfort, the pain, and the restlessness, too.

They are all invitations. An invitation to explore.

To explore your inner world and realm of the unknown.

They are also calls to adventure. To new possibilities and pathways on the journey of your life.

So instead of running away, get curious instead.

Stop and explore. Take it all in. Especially the dark corners and crevices you usually avoid. Because it is here in the shadows where discoveries are made.

It is here, in the realm of the unknown, that our lives have the potential to be completely transformed.

And then what? What happens next?

When we start down this path of exploration, an interesting thing always seems to occur.

We begin to discover long lost parts of ourselves.

It’s like going down into a deep, dark cave and digging around. During the excavation, we recover little bits and pieces of ourselves that have fallen away. Fell away or got covered up. Parts of ourselves that are central to who we are, yet are nowhere to be found. At least not in our present day life.

But they can be…

In the darkness, we begin to uncover these lost remnants. The discarded hopes and dreams and all of the things that once brought joy and fullness to our lives.

One by one we gather them up, calling back the lost pieces of ourselves.

We were not always this way.

When we were children, we were carefree. Full of laughter, love, and life. The world was bursting with color instead of emanating only dull shades of gray.

But, little by little, life began to lose its vibrancy. Childhood wonder slowly faded away.

This is where it all went. Down into the cave and swallowed by the shadows of social norms, conformity, and fear.

It is only natural, then, that it is here where we come to recover it. The wonder, the joy, the laughter and fun. All the things that truly matter.

Pain, fear, shame and guilt are all there, too. But now we can see them.

The light of awareness, fueled by curiosity, shines onto everything around us.

No longer hidden, they can no longer control us. They cannot pull the strings from behind the scenes. We now have a choice…

It is this, our ability to choose, that sets us free.

And so what started off as a tiny spark of curiosity ignites a flame within.

A shift occurs. Something changes… and whether subtle or grand, we can be sure of this:

Nothing will ever be the same again.

It begins to feel as though we are awakening to lost parts of ourselves. Or simply remembering. Remembering who we are. Who we truly are, as the shattered self becomes whole.

The feelings of restlessness start to subside. The world no longer feels flat and gray. Life begins to take on new meaning and depth.

It’s as if we have come back to life. Or rather, that life has returned back to us.

The voices still speak, as they always will. But now things are different. You know what to do when you hear them.

You know that there is no need to run. Because all it means is that new discoveries await

Darkness descends
and the door creaks open.
With sleeping eyes, I seek and find.
Nothingness is to what I awake.
But here within, secrets are revealed
In an endless sea of discarded dreams.
Shadows fall as the fire burns.
And from the ashes, we are born anew.
Back to ourselves, we are complete.
As we always were.
As we will ever be.

– MKO –