Too many voices tell me what to do. How to act. Who to be.

I am overwhelmed.

“That’s not good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“No one cares about you.”

“No one wants you.”

Soon the voices become my own , and I’m not sure what is the truth and what is the lie.

It doesn’t matter. I believe them all.

I even believe some of the voices are God’s, so who am I to argue.

I make choices based on voices in my head that rationalize my future.

I make choices out of fear.

I make choices because I think it’s the “right” thing to do.

I ignore the niggling in my belly that cautions me. Could that be my voice?

I am unsure. So I choose a voice I want to be right. Except it’s not my voice.
It’s not what I want.

I’m not sure whose voice it is, but now the voices grow stronger. More confusing.

It takes me years of silence, and pain, and suffering,

but I learn to distinguish the lie from the truth. My voice from the voices that aren’t me.

And I grow strong.

I fight through the fear.

I fight through the condemnation.

I choose.

It is hard. It is painful. It is work. So much work.

But it’s my choice.

My choice.

But the confusion is still there, but now in a different way.

It’s sneakier. More covert. But it’s there.

The voices sometimes come from within. I learn to fight through them to the truth.

I reach and hold onto what I want.

That’s when the outside voices find a new way to usher in their confusion.  They whisper, cajole, doubt, persuade.

There are still too many voices. And they are strong.

“You should do this.”

“Follow me.”

“I know the answer.”

“Work harder. Faster.”

“Do it my way.”

“No, my way.”

I follow each voice until I am overwhelmed and  paralyzed.

What do I do?

Who do I listen to?

What do I want?

I’m not sure. I think what I want got lost in the doing. In the striving. In the failing.

What do I want?

I don’t know.

How do I get there?

I have no idea, but I can’t listen to the voices anymore.

I have to do it my way.

My way.

Even if I don’t know where I’ll end up.

I have to trust myself because trusting others is hard right now.

Trust myself.

That has got to be the right way.

Now if I could only quiet the voices long enough to recognize my own.