The Dissidence of My Inside Voice versus My Outside Voice


I’ve heard it mentioned more than a few times that time is different during this pandemic. I don’t know if I am so overwhelmed by life that I miss the seconds ticking by and an hour has turned to two. I am grateful for the sun rising as it holds the certain place I am on track for a new day.

Where did the snow come from? It snuck in the back door and slapped me upside the head. The earth has taken on the deep freeze of winter before we fall our clocks back. Sometimes time is a stranger.

My biological clock is ticking as I notice skin hanging more deliberately today than yesterday. I live in a struggle searching for balance with my time of digestion. I’m up against a waning war with food and I’m at a standoff of sorts as I implement yet another new plan to ease the fighting. My body clock thinks it remembers hunger and yet questions why I choose to eat when it’s mealtime.

From my first awareness as a child I had trouble digesting life. It was labeled as this problem or that problem, and the bottom line was difficult. I learned to eat over a stomach ache. It’s quite a skill. My insides screaming no to food while the eager eater is on the outside. The dissidence of my inside voice versus my outside voice.

I have been cultivating my true self for decades now, peeling away the pain and confusion, the layers of thick crusty protection that helped me breathe. I continue to discover who I am. I have been traveling on my backwards timeline uncovering what lies beneath, airing out the misconceptions and opening up to truths.

It’s been a journey through time back to my childhood when my innocence had not found addiction, confusion, heartache and bad habits. I’m back to the vulnerable, empathic, kinesthetic body of light that sucked her first breath feeling the world, gazing into eyes of pain and feeling the burdens, with my skin buffering the problems around me.

I am back to rawness as I invite in the wisdom gained nourishing my heart into wholeness becoming a shield to protect me. I surprisingly continue to stand present on this earth in this same body holding this wisdom, an open heart, with insights and experiences armed with a trust I am on the right path. I am where I am supposed to be. I have arrived back to the me I was born to be.

The Inner History of a Day

by John O’Donohue


No one knew the name of this day; Born quietly from deepest night, It hid its face in light, Demanded nothing for itself, Opened out to offer each of us A field of brightness that traveled ahead, Providing in time, ground to hold our footsteps And the light of thought to show the way.


The mind of the day draws no attention; It dwells within the silence with elegance To create a space for all our words, Drawing us to listen inward and outward.


We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming our broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.


Somewhere in us a dignity presides That is more gracious than the smallness That fuels us with fear and force, A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.


So at the end of this day, we give thanks For being betrothed to the unknown And for the secret work Through which the mind of the day And the wisdom of the soul become one.


Participants’ Reflections:

  • I was thinking about time. You said something about it seemingly to pass quickly. It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Covid this long and it’s become normal. I was thinking about not spending time in the car because I’m not going places. So that makes it seem like I have more time. It is more time at home, and more time in meaningful things I am doing versus just being busy. I guess it’s going both quickly and not so quickly, because the time I have at home makes me feel that I have longer days. I guess it’s the at-home thing that’s important to me. I didn’t realize it until I started speaking. I have more time at home, and home is pleasant so it’s a good thing. I guess I was busy going off to different places.

  • One of the things we’ve noticed—we are going to start on a major project in our house. There was an article in Real Simple this month that says we are starting to appreciate our homes more and making them more comforting. It’s a nice aspect of the pandemic.

  • It’s what we are doing with silent meditation, making out inner homes more comfortable.

  • Thank you. I picked up on the word ‘difficult’. I’ve been in recovery circles for thirty years and I’ve had people tell me that I use the word ‘difficult’ a lot. Everything is difficult. At your Feel the Fear workshop, you talked about ‘I can handle anything that comes my way.’ But that word—it’s ingrained in me. I’m changing my vocabulary to say something is challenging. Not difficult, it’s challenging. Thank you.

  • The phrase that stuck with me was naming the day. When I focused on that, I felt the full moon, a visual of the light from the moon. I felt ancestors in that light, some that I know have passed in my lifetime in that way. Yesterday, I noticed that it was raining on one side of my house and snowing on the other. What came to me is how delicate and sensitive my life and my world is. I don’t have to push it to have change or transformation, it’s just there. And it can take a second to happen.

  • Thank you so much for your readings, the depth continues to touch me on deeper and deeper levels, and thank you all for your reflections. I want to acknowledge the analogies and the challenges that go along when we recover from disordered eating. For me, so much has been about relationship. I want to acknowledge that portion of your writing.

  • It was a couple of years ago when it dawned on me how easily I eat over a stomachache. This realization is new but the action has gone on for years. It’s amazing how resilient the body is.

  • I was struck by the words that a day is a holy place. It’s an interesting way to look at a day. I’ve been doing more jigsaw puzzles. I’ve felt guilty about it, but I’ve been relaxing into it and saying that this is good for me to enjoy myself and do something as simple as looking at these colorful pieces of cardboard and putting them together. There’s so many things I’m trying to do. It’s all about choice and how I treat myself. I once had a therapist tell me about vocabulary. I told him “I can’t do this thing” and he said “it’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t.” When I changed my vocabulary and I took charge of what I was believing about myself, it opened my life to the choices I could make. Thank you for your writing.

  • Thank you for joining us this morning as we gently stroll through another day. I hope you have a day full of gentle awareness. I’ve learned to put the word gentle in front of what I ask for. We’ll be here tomorrow. Blessings to you.

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