Recovery Tip of the Week: Listen to Your Inner Voice

After trauma we often achieve safety but shutting down. We deaden our emotions, deafen ourselves to the overstimulation of information, and refuse to see the world around us beyond a small parameter we define as safe. Recovery, however, means learning to balance that quest for safety with a reconnection to our own internal sense of control. As a matter of fact, this reconnection can bring about increased safety. Here’s why:

Your internal feedback mechanism — call it your inner voice, higher wisdom, instinct, intuition – is a highly tuned process that takes all the information you normally filter out and organizes it into meaningful patterns. The recognition of these patterns (based on stimuli from all five of your senses) can be enormously valuable in helping you predict future experiences, both physical and mental. Paying attention to the feedback this process gives you (in the form of your inner voice, a feeling you can’t describe – or a feeling you can!) helps keep you safe by incorporating a vast amount of information, more than you incorporate when you deaden, deafen and blind yourself to these intuitive responses.

Getting back in touch with your inner voice and truly listening to what it has to say is one way to create safety that is in your control. This week, practice deferring to your inner voice once a day. Just listen for its input on the tiny things. For example, what you want for lunch, which way to drive to the store, how to accomplish a task. Notice how often you want to overrule it with logic, rationale or some other analytical process. And then, defer to your inner voice anyway, just for the fun of it. Get into the habit of doing this and see what happens.

Here’s a post I wrote about how I went through this process myself, and how I began to change it.


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