Until we start serving others and thinking of people besides ourselves, the inner dialog has only two questions: What’s in it for me?, and What have you done for me lately?
Listen to your inner dialog for a moment. Notice anything repetitive about it? It’s like having a devil’s advocate… not for you, mind you, but for himself. He’s there to cover his own a**… not yours.
This mischief maker has a real short memory, likes to sabotage your life, and suffers from a lack of gratitude and generosity. But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that the inner voice is paranoid, and convinces you that it alone sees things clearly. It tells you it’s protecting your best interests… which include that it’s wrong to care about anyone else.
Yes, this inner dialog is exactly the thing we’re trying to avoid in life, the worst possible consigliere to have by our side. If we were to write down what it says to us, we’d think, “Oh my God, is that how you see them? That’s your friend, do you really think they would kill your childen? Do you really think your boss is trying to destroy you? I once caught mine saying, “I won’t be happy until I’ve enslaved you all.” That was 30 years ago, and I still remember it. Now I don’t believe for a minute that this was my voice… but it definitely was in my head.
Who thinks this way?
It reminds me of the famous U.S. major’s quote during the Vietnam War: “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”
Get it out, what this inner voice says to you. Let it speak and then write it down, look at it. This inner voice is capable of incredible monstrosities, anything rather than admit it that it might be mistaken about How Selfish The World Is.
This is why it’s so important to have a community, to serve others, to work as a volonteer, to think of others besides ourselves. Meditation and yoga also help, anything to cut the ties to this voice, to help us stop listening to it, to see past its fears and psychopathy.
We do this not only for ourselves, but for the whole world.
Otherwise, watch out. That inner voice wants to make you become the horrible monster you see in everyone else, ruin the lives of everyone around you, and then be able to say, smugly, “See, I told you everyone else was exactly like me.”