The Authority of Your Voice Within
Growing up, I learned that the only voices I was to trust were those outside of me. Parents. My elders. Pastors. Scripture. And most certainly God. Somehow, even though I’d “invited Jesus into my heart,” that didn’t include listening to my heart. The idea of giving credence to any voice within was anathema. Frankly, I didn’t even consider it for decades. And when I DID hear a voice within, I knew it was not only untrustworthy but to be outright rejected. Unless, of course, it summoned guilt or shame. Those two were undoubtedly on the mark and accurate. (Just to be clear: I’m being facetious.)
I don’t say this in critique of my upbringing. I’m pretty sure your experience was similar, regardless of your faith / religious background or lack thereof. Few of us were taught to value and honor a woman’s inner knowing, her intuition, the voice of her heart. Fewer still of us were taught to value and honor our own inner knowing, our own intuition, the voice of our own heart.
So, when I did begin to hear an increasingly louder voice within, I was not sure what to do. At first, guilt and shame were my go-to’s. I was convinced that what I heard, thought, and felt was wrong! But as the voice persisted, I began to recognize that it was consistently counter to what people expected me to say, let alone do. In fact, most of the time, it asserted thoughts and ideas and emotions that were the opposite of what those in “authority” in my life at the time wanted from me: my husband, the church, and most certainly the God I had come to know.
That was then and this is now. Admittedly, there is lots in between the two, but let’s focus on the now, for now.
Now, when I hear the voice within that refutes or contradicts external “authority,” I know to follow it immediately. I know it to be exactly what I must trust. It is, without question or doubt, how I discern what to do, what is right, what is best.
Which explains why I so love this quote:
There can never be a spiritual authority outside of me that is greater than this voice I…