Listen to the in betweens.
Listen to the silence.
Listen to the speakers you don't usually listen to.
Listen, even when you don't want to hear what is being spoken.
We get so caught up in our day-to-day. We live in habit. Habit is a necessity. We would be paralyzed by choice if we didn't have habits.
Habit also comes in our thoughts. We become used to hearing and listening to the same voices. These voices are familiar. They (seem) friendly. They (seem to) look out for us and keep our best interest in mind. They become so familiar that we don't question them. We listen to them. We act upon their suggestions. These voices create our experiences. They facilitate our reactions and emotions. They drive our actions.
What if, these familiar voices need to be questioned? What if, there are other, quieter, voices that could also provide us with valuable insight?
We can't hear all the voices because we know a few of them so well they are the ones we can pick out of the crowd.
It's like when you're at a crowded restaurant and you're talking to your friends, they're hard to hear, but you can decipher their voices out of the hum. Now, add in that one of your friends brought a guest whom you've never spoken with before; it's a whole lot harder to have a conversation with that person because you're not familiar with their voice! Your brain isn't used to listening to its tone and picking it out of the hum.
At first, it is difficult to hear the new voice, but, after time, you are able to pick it up just as well as your friends.
The consistent voices that we listen to out of habit are the ones that have gotten you to this point in your life. They have done a good job. They have kept you going through so many experiences, highs, and lows. Some may have gotten you into an experience and another may have given you the strength to get out of that experience.
The key here is to begin to listen and to notice them. To pick them out of the hum. Maybe even give them personalities - the father you want to impress, the friend who always sees that bright side. These voices are not you, but they are of you. Recognize them for who and what they are. Honour them for their service.
As you begin to listen, notice if what they are saying is consistent with the direction you want your life to move. If they are not serving a helpful purpose at this time, you can thank them for their suggestion and listen for another voice with a different suggestion.
A voice that is used to being herd might start screaming. It might be hard to listen for another voice. Persist. Listen. There are other suggestions. There are other options.
You might hear a voice that you are not familiar with and question its intention - especially if it has the nerve to tell you something you don't want to hear! Listen.
It's not about shutting these voices out. It's not about turning off the chatter. It's about listening and making conscious decisions. It's about moving in a direction out of choice, not out of habit. It's about waking up to your life and to your role in creating your life. It's about YOU choosing what's best for YOU.