The inner voice : Getting in touch with ourselves may be the one thing that we never do
Abha Eli Phoboo
After five years of intensive medical study in Bangladesh, Binay Man Shrestha was working as an intern. He was finally getting closer to his childhood dream of being a doctor like his father when one evening, he came home and retired quietly to his room.
Noticing his unusual silence, his mother asked him what was wrong. “It just doesn’t feel right,” said Binay quietly looking down at his food. “I don’t want to be a doctor.” His mother thought he was joking. Here was her hulking son now 26 years old, finally wearing the white coat with a stethoscope round his neck and he was telling her that he didn’t want it any more.
It took a lot of getting used to. “I questioned myself a thousand times,” says Binay. “Every day I went to the hospital but something didn’t seem right. I just didn’t feel happy helping the sick and kept thinking that maybe there was some other way I could help them besides being a doctor.” Binay began tutoring children at home and the Shrestha family has learnt to come to terms with Binay’s decision. “I like teaching children better,” shares Binay, “Just seeing their eager faces smile when they understand what I teach makes me feel happy.” What Binay had struggled with all these years was his inner voice. His heart told him one thing but his head something else. How could he let his parents down? They had always dreamt he would grow up to be a doctor. The tiny voice refused to die away until he finally learnt that that voice was him. Between rushing off to work, staying in touch with friends and catching up with the times, we hardly find time to catch up with ourselves. Often we fail to recognise who we are deep down inside and what truly makes us happy. With all our family and friends trying to help, we lose track of where their expectations began and our wants ended. Moving up the social ladder does not necessarily mean being happy; listening to your inner voice means that you know who you are.
How does the inner voice work?
The inner voice acts as your conscience and awareness. It is that “gut feeling” when you just know but cannot explain how. The inner voice is the true you. Every time you do something, weigh the outcome — Why should you do it? What do you get out of it? But the most crucial questions are — Do you want to do it? Does it feel right or wrong? What happens next?
When we say “follow your heart”, it does not mean to blindly do what you want but to do what you feel is right.
The instinct speaks to you at certain times in your life and these can be precious vulnerable fragments that change life forever based on the decision you made in that split second. When Bryan Adams toured India this year, Swikrit Manandhar, a student of Electrical and Communication Engineering at Sri Ramaswami Memorial had also gone to listen to the pop idol. He was enjoying the music when he saw four girls near him being harassed. He asked them if they wanted to leave and helped them escape. “We are still in touch,” shares Swikrit. “Turns out they are students of dentistry. I am glad I acted on instinct. I might get free check up if I visit their clinic!”
The sixth sense
Inner voice is often termed as natural instinct or the sixth sense. “When I meet someone, I usually rely on the vibes that I receive,” says Promina Shrestha, a science student at Tri-Chandra College. But besides these moments, the inner voice must be relied upon for creativity as Ragini Upadhyay Grela, senior artist and director of Gallery Moksh says, “If I hadn’t followed my heart and become an artist, I would have become a failure.”
Listen to yourself
•Make some quiet time for yourself and let go. There may be many worries and thoughts floating in your head. When you are with yourself, let them surface.
•Talk to your self and question. Do not arrive at a decision simply based on impulse and then blame it on the “inner voice”. The inner voice is that which will help you out of dilemmas if you listen to it.
•Adolescents often face confusion relating to what the future might hold. Learn to recognise your good points — what do you truly like? It takes a lot of learning from mistakes before you find yourself.
•Inner voice is a very spiritual experience that helps you become a complete person, it builds an innate confidence.
A classic example of the inner voice experience recently stun-ned the world when Sonia Gandhi declined India’s top job. “My inner voice tells me I must humbly decline,” said the Italian-turned-Indian lady. This step earned her respect and inspired many. One of them was Ambika Soni, general secretary of All-India Congress Committee who declined a post of ministerial berth in the new Indian government stating that she was inspired by Sonia’s
The inner voice often directs your energy into something constructive if you let it. Samrat Upadhyay, the first Nepali novelist in English shares how he relies on his inner self: “I listen to my ‘inner voice’ all the time during my writing process. Often, characters themselves will suggest the forward movement of the story, as opposed to my relying on a pre-conceived plot — this is one aspect of the inner voice, or intuition. For any imaginative writing to work and appeal to the reader, it has to emerge from a “deep” part of you; otherwise you’re merely skimming on the surface. In my novel ‘The Guru of Love’, Goma’s decision to invite Malati, her husband’s lover, into her house came from me listening to my intuition even though “logic” argued against it. But I knew that this move by Goma had something primal, something authentic that had its own inner logic, and I went with it. As a result, the novel gained momentum and a burst of energy that has appealed to many readers and critics.”