Today, I would like to dive into the theme that is at the center of all my writing; the search for balance between our darkness and light. The terms I use are simple, but their essence is not. When I say darkness, I don’t mean the impulse to perpetrate a heinous act, I’m talking about the voices that hold us back. The voices that tell us we aren’t good enough, that we can’t accomplish something. The voices that tell us others are out to get us. The feelings that hold us back when we should advance. When I speak of our light, I don’t mean diving into a situation without thinking. Or being naïvely optimistic facing a negative situation.
Finding the right balance is a delicate exercise. It implies personal introspection to find out what makes us tick. It requires us to open a dialogue with our internal voices to try and understand their origin. Here, I must insist this is a literal dialogue. When I bring this notion up with some people, I am asked how it is possible to control the ongoing voices running around in their minds, and every time, I ask them: “have you tried speaking with them?” To which I usually get a blank stare. But opening a dialogue with your internal voices is essential to becoming a more complete version of yourself.
Start simple. A few years ago, the first question I asked was when my internal voice told me my writing is useless. Before it could spread and become my personal truth, I asked it: “why are you saying that?” The voices all stopped at once. Since that moment, I have been in discussion with these voices, and I discovered that they want what’s best for me, only they don’t know how to express it. Once I started talking with my internal voices, I noticed the negativity they generate could become my first level editors. Now, if I stray too far with the storyline, the voice comes up and tells me to stay with the story, instead of telling me it’s trash. It’s an ongoing battle to stay above the tide, it’s easy to slip into a negative state and accept it as is, but I try to keep my internal lines of communication open.
Then there are the positive voices. A dialogue must be kept active with them as well. Although they are nice to be around, they tend to overlook serious problems that can snowball if not dealt with. The dialogue I try to have with them is more along the lines of saying things like this: “That’s a good idea, have you thought about the time it will take us?” This way, I open a channel between my light and dark (or positive and negative internal dialogue), which lets me see any situation with a clear gaze and a lot less anxiety.
That’s why I try to instill my book’s characters with different levels of internal dialogue. I hope to convey the battle we all face with our internal voices through the varying levels of personal growth I’ve given them. The stories I create will have their plot twists and loops that maintain the rhythm, but what I hope to do with every story is to instill some desire in my readers to learn more about life’s changing rhythms.
Just talking about this today makes me feel very vulnerable, and you will too once you open a dialogue. Both internal voices will try to pull the bed covers to their side at first, so to speak. But keep at it, after a while, the conversations are quite fun.
Have a great week everyone!