I have a few little voices in my head, telling me to do things. Yes, that may make me insane, but no more insane than you are, since I know you have similar voices in your head.
One voice is the toddler: “I want it now! I want this! I don’t want that! You can’t make me! You’re not the boss of me!”
Another is the six-year-old who has learned the rules, and learned that he has to do as he’s told or face punishment: “You have to do it or mom and dad (or the boss) will get mad at you! You can’t have what you want right now! If you don’t do what I tell you, you’ll be sorry!”
In his book Awaken Your Strongest Self, Dr. Neil Fioré talks about these different parts of our brains, and how these sub-personalities emerge as a result of our evolution and conditioning.
Fioré’s advice is to listen to these voices, but then rise above them, and use our more evolved “adult” mind to make appropriate choices.
Staying stuck in “You have to” vs. “I don’t want to” leads to guilt, self-criticism, resistance and fatigue. But when we recognize that these voices are not who we really are, we can take a more spiritual and mature position, and treat ourselves with both compassion and accountability.
I am more than the sum of my parts. I can choose to observe the smaller parts of my brain (ego, inner child, etc), hear their voices, and respond from a place of freedom, choice and love. Rather than beating myself up (which the ego loves to do), I can choose my response to the situation without guilt, fear, blame, complaints or justifications. I can choose based on what I intuitively feel is best for all concerned.
Making these accountable choices helps me rise above the petty demands of fear and ego, to a place where I am more in touch with my higher, spiritual self. It takes practice, but the pay-offs are both immediate and long-term.