Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Noise From Within

"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions." -- Leonardo da Vinci

A few years ago, I found myself aggravated by bouts of ill-timed insomnia. Night after night I would quickly fall asleep only to find my eyes open again just a few hours later. Now, I'm not sure what it is about the wee hour of the morning that makes every thought or task seem to be of the utmost importance and worth unending rumination -- but, it soon became apparent that I was my own worst enemy. My nighttime thoughts and perceptions were doing me in -- and they were speaking quite loudly.

During a conversation with a friend, I was introduced to the concept of "white noise". The idea is to introduce some type of ambient noise such as the sound of falling rain, rustling wind, or ocean surf to mask other intrusive or unwanted noises. In my case, the intrusion was the sound of my own inner voice. After a few nights with the soothing sounds of rain and thunder, my thoughts were quieted and a more regular and peaceful sleep returned.

Unfortunately, the inner noise and negative conversations we have with ourselves are not limited to the nighttime hours. In fact, from the moment we wake up there is often that nagging feeling that something isn't quite right. We may not always be able to put our finger on exactly what it is that is bothering us, but we sure can talk to ourselves about it.

Think about what happens when you're alone -- in the car for instance. Do you find yourself driving along, caught up in your own thoughts and self-talk? Now honestly; can you really say that you consistently feed yourself that positive and uplifting self-talk we all really want and need? Judging from the way you just yelled at the driver in front of you, I'm thinking the answer is -- no.

It's time to stop listening to ourselves and start listening to thoughts and ideas that can truly change the way we think. By popping in a CD or audio book, we can change the information we're taking in, and more importantly we can interrupt or shut down the flow that often comes from our own poisoned well. When we commit to enhancing our learning through reading and prayerfully seeking out the right people with the right result, we are taking definite and positive steps toward being the person we truly desire to be.

What changes do you want to make in the personal, occupational, and faith-based areas of your life? Is it really possible to improve in these key areas? The answer is yes and the time is now. Turn off and tune in.

Your comments are always welcomed.