The Defensive Voice
Earlier this week, I found myself telling someone, “You were being an idiot.” To which I got this response – “Idiot or not, I am who I am.” And yet when I explained myself, expressed what had bothered me, hurt me, he said, “Yes, point taken”. Obviously, it got me thinking. That “I am who I am” could be the voice of defense of an inner child. It was a response to that feeling of an emotional boundary being threatened.
Do you know what your defensive voice sounds like? Do you find yourself using words like “But why does it always have to be me?” Or “I am like this only” or “This is all I can do. I can’t help it”. While recognising these words is important, try to also understand the source of it. What button is getting pushed? Why this need to assert yourself in this manner?
The defensive voice is usually that of an inner child wounded many years ago and many times over. But sometimes it’s also of a broken spirit caused by an abusive relationship. These wounds are inflicted upon us by a loved one or loved ones knowingly or unintentionally. A parent pushing their child in a particular direction and disregarding all else that he or she achieves. Or an abusive partner who brain washes your entire belief system about your own self.
Why is identifying the root important? Because as you grow up, as life goes on, this defensive voice will drown out the sounds of opportunity for growth, healing and evolution. When you say, “I am who I am” you’re standing in the limiting “take it or leave it” energy. But remember when you say that to someone, you’re also limiting your own self and saying this is all that I can be. And you and I both know that is so not true.
The defensive voice is one of repressed anger. Ooh… that negative emotion that causes so much drama in our lives. But anger is not our enemy. It’s part of my being’s defense team. The function of anger is to ensure our boundaries are intact and to help us build healthy boundaries as is appropriate. So what are these boundaries that I talk about?
Anger is in charge of our department of likes and dislikes. What are we okay with in our life and what we cannot handle or will not tolerate. How we would like to be treated and how we should not or never be treated. As we grow up, our conscious mind creates a bunch of walls and fences based on our inherent nature, conditioning and life experiences. Whenever someone’s words or actions threatens to push through these boundaries, we get angry… possibly at different degrees. But when someone hammers away at these boundaries constantly and we are unable to stop them, anger transforms into the defensive voice. The holes created in our being by the constant hammering away is plugged by words like “I am who I am”. It’s you standing up and saying enough is enough and yet not really having the courage to heal the wounds, to let the light of growth flow through those holes.
You aren’t who you are my love. You are all that you choose to be. That’s the potential each one of us holds within. Question is are you willing to reach into that box and pull out a handful of potential to evolve, become who you need to be to live that life you want to live. Now that you’re here, reading this, identify that voice and think about what will happen if one day instead of being defensive you have a real conversation about the fears that are being triggered. What will happen when you hear yourself say, “I am who I am” and just ask yourself, “okay, what’s really going on?”
Try doing this over the next few weeks. Be aware of the answers that come through. Have compassionate conversations with yourself to understand what’s really going on. Why in a particular situation, you reacted with these words? What emotion did that conversation bring up? Then think of the opportunity or experience that you’re passing up because you’re being adamant about “I am who I am”. If and when you feel this needs to change, that life cannot and must not be limited this way simply change that statement in your head to “It’s safe for me to open up to this person or situation. I am capable of holding my own in any situation.” Repeat this statement every time you hear your defensive voice whisper.
Choosing to evolve requires us to peel off a few layers. It requires patience, presence of mind and a good dose of persistence. But above all it requires us to first make a conscious choice to change, to no longer hide within the walls of our own limitations (sometimes side effects of bad experiences and sometimes we just made ourselves believe because we didn’t know any better).