In order to truly listen, you have to stop listening

Quote about Snow Quote about Listening Michelle Grewe ListenAs the snow dribbles from the cold, blue lips of winter’s heavens, if you listen carefully, you will hear it speak like Rice Crispies drowning in milk. I have learned with age people are like snow, and that includes myself.

As I face my demons in ways I never imagined was possible, my shrink told me,”You have got to stop listening to the dark voices.”

I asked, “You mean the demons?”

He said, “No. Your mother. Your sister. Your friends. Your in-laws. Your husband. Their judgment and criticism is not helping you. Stop listening to it.”

We all listen to our demons more than we listen to our higher selves, whether those demons are internal voices, spiritual whispers, or people we know. In fact, my family can be a very dark voice in my life only because they are listening to the dark ones in their lives. Demons too are normally dark voices only because they are enslaved to the darkness within themselves.

But how can you tell the difference between a dark voice and the light?

Some people think, “Consider the source.” Not true. All sources can deceive you into believing they are experts. The only way to know for sure is to consider the context. The message is more important than the words and the voice. It is by the message can you determine if the source is an expert or not. It is by the message can you give the power of credibility to others. The more you give credibility to the right messages, the more you will listen to the messages that will help you.

Darkness takes on the form of negativity. Dark emotions usually result in dark messages to others.

Causes of darkness include feelings like:

  • Insecurity
  • Fear
  • Lonliness
  • Anxiety
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Ego
  • Ambition
  • Sadness

Effects of darkness include messages of:

  • Blame
  • Criticism
  • Demands
  • Insults
  • Back-Handed compliments
  • Doubt
  • Disapproval
  • Neglect
  • Hatred
  • Misunderstanding

The point of the darkness is to use words and behaviors to make other people feel the darkness you feel. Insecure people like trying to make others feel insecure. Angry people want to enrage others. People who hate themselves want to make you hate yourself. That’s the root of it all: self-hate.

The best way to find your darkness is to write a list of the people you hate, and write the reasons you hate them. Then look at those reasons and realize that’s you trash talking yourself.

We all face darkness. Even our demons.

When I’m in a dark place, I have a little light within me, and I’m going to let it shine to find my way. Some people have more voices of the light than others, but I’m surrounded by darkness, and darkness is loud, obnoxious, and at times belligerent. 

The LAST thing I need is for people I admire, people I love, and people whose opinions matter to me to tell me I’m worthless and unworthy. The last thing I need is dark voices reassuring me of all the negativity about myself. I’m sick of feeling all the things people tell me to feel and invalidating all the feelings people tell me I’m wrong for feeling. I CANNOT be around that anymore.

When I stop listening to the darkness, all the sudden, I realize the snow makes a crackling sound when it falls. I imagine this is what people attempt in yoga and meditation.

The only thing to ever conquer darkness is light. The only thing that conquers hate is love. The only thing that conquers lies is the truth.

In the last year or so, I’ve declared war against the darkness within me. I believe God is love, so I use love as my beacon. Shakespeare defines love in his Sonnet 116, “Love is an ever fixed marked that looks upon tempests but is never shaken.” Love isn’t to be confused with romance or lust. It’s about unconditionally accepting everyone, including myself, for who they are, flaws and all. It is my gift I give to others and myself.

When I catch myself leaving negative messages and feeling awful about myself, I flip a switch to turn the light on. Well, I don’t do this every time, but I aim for it at least.

Messages of the Light are things we do for ourselves and others. You heard? Both ourselves and others. And they include:

  • Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Charity
  • Truth
  • Understanding
  • Wisdom
  • Sacrifice
  • Humbleness
  • Humility
  • Selflessness
  • Hope
  • Faith (in others and ourselves)

You can fight doubt with faith, but for people like me (your scientific minds who seeks evidence and proof), there’s a level of seeking truth that must take place as well (it’s not the same as proof, but with enough truth, faith happens). I try to turn shame and blame into forgiveness. I turn my curses into blessings so that there is nothing to blame. I consciously remind myself that people are battling their own battles to justify their behaviors so that I control my temper.

I’m still trying to find a balance between pure forgiveness and letting people walk all over me. The spiritual world and natural world are really at odds against each other, and not many in the past have paved a way to navigating through society with methods that are healthy for ourselves and those around us. We are in a world where it’s kill or be killed, but the act of killing kills a different part of you inside.

There has to be a way to not be killed, metaphorically, without having to kill. There has to be a way to stand up to bullies without becoming one in the process. There has to be a way to get a job without making someone lose theirs. There has to be a way to feed someone without starving ourselves. But the darkness will keep us wandering around aimlessly in a wilderness of kill or be killed. We have to stop listening to the darkness in order to hear the light, yonder way, far in the distance, as we blindly head to it with faith and hope in order to find a world where you don’t have to kill in order to eat and survive.

Did I just describe death? Or life?

When you stop listening to the darkness, you’ll hear that whispering crackle within telling you things that will lead you to a path of success, growth, happiness and spiritual transcendence (if you’re into that sort of thing). These are things that help you forgive yourself. Love yourself. And most importantly, live with yourself.

Stop Listening to the Dark Voices in your life they are assholes

I messaged one of my friends about being a dark voice in my life, and to make a point, I listed out all the things I say to myself. This is a great example of the dark voices within myself (usually based off the opinions of others) and how I turned it around into something more positive. This is TMI because I do hear voices of actual demons, angels, dead people (for those who don’t know, voices I record and other people hear them too if I up the decibels… it will be a book)… Half the world has me convinced I’m psychic, and the other half, crazy.

[stextbox id=”Boring-know-it-all-info” caption=”Things I Say When I’m Depressed” collapsing=”true” collapsed=”true”]

I get depressed when I feel like I’m not good enough. I lay in bed all day and say the following to myself…

  1. You have nothing to offer anyone you love
  2. You are not worth loving
  3. Why can’t you just clean your house? What’s so fucking hard about that?
  4. Your kids deserve a better mom.
  5. Rafael deserves a better wife
  6. You are fucking everyone’s life up
  7. This is the rest of your life. This is it. Laying bed trying to get up to clean or even blog. Talking to dead people.
  8. The voices are not going to go away are they?
  9. I’m never going to figure this out.
  10. Why bother?


[stextbox id=”Boring-know-it-all-info” caption=”Things People Tell Me that I Once Believed” collapsing=”true” collapsed=”true”]

Things people tell me and I believed at one point…

  1. If Rafael cheats on you, you deserve it. If you can’t fulfill all his sexual desires, then he has every right to go find it elsewhere.
  2. Your baby’s cradle cap is a form of child abuse.
  3. I don’t come over anymore because I don’t like the way you parent.
  4. Well you aren’t a good parent. … I don’t understand how I’m such a good parent and I lost my kid, and all these bad parents are out there with all their kids. They don’t deserve their kids.
  5. If you’d just listen to me, you wouldn’t have these problems. Stop being lazy.
  6. Just make your kids go to sleep. They must not be sleeping a normal night because of something you’re doing.
  7. Quit blaming others. It’s your fault. You have to take responsibility for your child’s potty training.
  8. My mom says you and your kids only eat McDonalds because you are too lazy to cook.
  9. I can’t watch your kids because laundry. I can’t watch them because my kids have a basketball game. I can watch them on Tuesday, and the fact that I wouldn’t answer my phone after making excuses to get out of helping you is not the reason why I don’t watch your kids. You are the reason I won’t watch your kids. You keep pushing me away. You refuse to ask for help. By the way, my son is bugging me to stay the night at your house. Can you come and get him? Have him at football practice tomorrow at 3, and don’t be late, or they won’t let him play next game.
  10. You are being ridiculous. That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard someone say.
  11. That’s fucked up. You shouldn’t have those feelings because there’s something wrong with you.
  12. I think you should apply for social security and get services to help you.
  13. I don’t understand why you keep making mistakes. Just because you have 3 kids and haven’t slept in 3 days is no excuse. Other people do it without these mistakes. Why can’t you?
  14. Your daughter tells on you. She said, “Mommy has to see a doctor because she’s always tired.” See. She told on you. You sleep all the time. You are a liar. Your daughter just said so.
  15. You think the whole world revolves around you and your kids, but it doesn’t. Quit being inconsiderate. We’re here too, and you have to stop walking up the steps to your apartment because I’m trying to sleep.
  16. You are not a medical expert. Listen to the doctor, even when they ARE wrong.


[stextbox id=”Boring-know-it-all-info” caption=”Things I Say to Myself based on what people say that makes me depressed” collapsing=”true” collapsed=”true”]

And the things I say (based on the opinions of the dark voices) that brings me to this…

  1. The house is a mess because I am lazy.
  2. We have no money because I blow it eating out instead of cooking.
  3. Rafael hates me because I won’t fuck him often enough. 
  4. You can’t be on time because you don’t care.
  5. The kids just ate dinner. It’s 10PM. That’s ridiculous Michelle
  6. Look at your child and how filthy she is. You are the reason she hasn’t had a bath yet.
  7. You can’t even brush your teeth every day, maybe you should go to a hospital.
  8. You should collect social security because no matter what you think about yourself, you are retarded. You can’t do basic things everyone else does.
  9. You have no friends because you are a bitch.
  10. You are too weird for society. Nobody will ever accept you for who you are. Nobody will ever understand you.
  11. I’m going to be alone my entire life because of number 10.
  12. You piss everyone off. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But you do. They shouldn’t get pissed off because you didn’t say anything that fucked up. But regardless, how are you going to succeed like this?
  13. Why is it when I say something, nobody likes it. Three years later, someone else says it, and everyone thinks it’s awesome.
  14. Why do people argue with me so much? I only said this. Like what the fuck? But they do argue with me more than they do anyone else. There’s something wrong with me.
  15. I am such a failure. I haven’t succeeded at anything in years. My house is a mess. My cooking is actually starting to suck. My blog is doing worse than it ever has. I have managed to piss off half the mom blogger community for reasons I can’t figure.
  16. I just want to respond to this email. Why can’t I do this? Why does it take me 3 days to write an email?
  17. Today I’m going to get my shit together because I need to get my shit together. I need to stop living this perpetual suck that I am.


[stextbox id=”Boring-know-it-all-info” caption=”Things I tell myself when I’m improving” collapsing=”true” collapsed=”true”]

These are the things I tell myself right before I start improving a little… Right before I start functioning…

  1. You are a genius. That’s why you’re weird.
  2. Talk to God more often. He can keep up with your weirdness. As long as you have Him, you don’t need anyone else for that.
  3. You can figure people out. You have to keep trying. There is a solution because people do it all the time. If the demons can talk people into shooting up a place and committing suicide, then you can talk people into reading your damn blog. You can get the school to believe you are a good mom.
  4. You are a good mother. The reason you haven’t sent your kids to anyone else, like your mother in law, is because she may have a clean house, and wonderful meals from scratch, but she won’t show your kids how to handle bullies. She won’t let them explore thoughts and concepts. She won’t let them be creative. She won’t give them options and let them make decisions for a sense of independence because that goes against the culture she was raised where women are dependents.
  5. Nobody notices Gabby’s autism because of you. You know what the fuck you are doing. Don’t let society’s standards tell you otherwise. Look at society. There really aren’t many people put together well in this world.
  6. You will conquer your house. You have the eye of the tiger. You have been through more shit than most people can handle. You were in the military. You have had a clean house it’s not beyond your reach.
  7. You are just broken. It takes 7 years for the soul to heal. Give it time. You already have seen minor improvements. It’s ok to be broken. It’s ok to lay down while you heal. You are following your intuition because it knows what you need to fix yourself. Society’s standards do not (nor do they care to).
  8. You don’t belong in a hospital psych ward. I know this for a fact. Why? Because I would hate being in a hospital. That’s a sign that you don’t belong there.
  9. You don’t qualify for social security because you are not retarded. The Social Security Administration says so, so it must be true.
  10. Use this experience to your favor. Write your memoirs. If nobody buys it, at least I tried. It will still serve as a great foundation for the next book you write with your mom. 
  11. You are not who you are now. Who you are is a mix of your past, present and future. Time is relative. Smash it all together, and that’s who you are. Only I am haunted by the success of my past as opposed to its failures. 
  12. This is a broken you. Not bad for a broken person. You still run a business. You still feed your kids and get them to school. You still are the primary caregiver in your world, not just of your kids, but the adults and their kids. Most people with your problems are in the hospital or dead from suicide.
  13. You are one of the most amazing people you will ever know because you can smile at the teacher who gives you a dirty look for being 5 minutes late getting your kids to school because you had a good rape flashback you still want to cry about, and you don’t cry. You smile. You smile at someone who is judging you.
  14. You can forgive every human and demon who hurt you. And you know that’s amazing because that’s why Jesus is the reason for the season. Why Jesus’s book is the best selling book of all time. Because he stood on a cross, broken, bleeding, drooling on himself, probably pissing and pooping himself, with everyone in the world against Him and all His friends watching in silence, and He forgave every one of those fuckers while He endured all that. Then He rose again. Character is defined in how we are when we are broken, not how successful we are when we aren’t. I, like Jesus, will rise again. 


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