Two men stroll down a leaf-covered wood lot path on a clear, brisk autumn morning. Jeff and Mark have been friends for years. They enjoy their Saturday morning walks and talks together. Yet, something’s different about Mark today. Jeff senses there’s a problem, but he says nothing.
Two minutes later, Mark stops walking and turns to Jeff. His eyes are searching for a place to begin. Then, following right behind his slowly spreading smile, these words spill out: “Jeff, are all these voices that are arguing in my head bothering you too?”
A second later, they both break out laughing. The spell Mark had been under was suddenly broken. He had been the captive of a dark inner dialogue.
What’s a dark inner dialogue? Just what it sounds like: A negative tug-of-war in the unseen recesses of your mind where you’re the only one pulling on both ends of the rope. Still more to the point, being in a dark inner dialogue is finding yourself losing a heated argument when there’s no one else in the room with you!
What causes these dark inner dialogues? Resentment. So, here’s a key thought to help you release this self-wrecking inner state: Holding onto some hurt or hatred — over what someone may have done to you in the past — makes you that person’s slave in the here and now.
If you’re tired of being a slave to a painful relationship out of your past, this study and step in how to release resentments is sure to bring welcome relief.
For this lesson to succeed in its intended purpose, it’s important to understand that resentment is a bitter pill made up of two layers. The first layer is created by our refusal to be self-ruling; saying “yes” when we really want to say “no!” is one good example. Fawning before others for fear of their reprisal is another. Both weak actions breed resentment, because our wish to falsely accommodate compromises our natural need to be self-commanding.
The second layer is resentment’s “active” ingredient, the psychological component that keeps it alive and unwell. This is the dark inner dialogue. These unconscious conflicts, in dialogue form, play themselves out in our mind by painfully reenacting various scenes from our past; moments gone by in which we either know, or sense, we were compromised by our own weakness.
If these inner dialogues were left to themselves as they popped into our mind, they’d be as powerless to disturb us as an echo is to change its own sound. Where we get into trouble, when resentment rules, is when we’re unknowingly drawn into these scenes out of our past and find ourselves interacting with a cast of ghost players! The ensuing mental dialogue is always a desperate but futile attempt to change what has already been said and done so that maybe this time around we can come out a winner.
One good example of this kind of dark inner dialogue is giving someone a heated piece of your mind — when he or she is not around to hear it!
Are you tired of going twelve rounds in routine fight scenes that always turn out the same? Try this step for the winning solution.
If you sat down on a metal bench and suddenly realized the midday sun had heated it way beyond the comfort zone, you’d stand up as quickly as you could. The same intelligence behind this instinctive physical reaction can help you release all resentments and drop their dark inner dialogues.
Each time you catch yourself in a dark inner dialogue, of any kind, use your awareness of the conflict it’s creating within you as a springboard to help you leap out of those scary scenes from your past into the safety of the present moment. Then, instead of giving yourself back over to those inner voices of conflict that are still trying to converse with you, remain aware of yourself in the present moment, and of their continuing beckoning presence.
No matter how many times you hear in your mind those fighting words that have always prompted you to jump into that dark dialogue, refuse to join in. Ground yourself in your awareness of the present moment.