Every February I seem to find myself in this place. Although this winter has been mild, it's still mostly wearing out it's welcome. And, weirdly, I miss the snow. We've only had about fifteen inches or so this winter and that has largely melted with the warm weather. So the landscape is brown and drab. It matches my internal world quite well. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about the weather. I'm just noticing that it affects me in specific ways.
Bah. Even as I'm writing this, I'm getting sick of myself. And that attitude is probably closest to the root of my problem. I'm not very responsive to a particular kind of criticism, and when that criticism is internal it's hard to escape from it. That's what's very peculiar to me. I said earlier that God is turning my attention to places in my life that are in a bit of a shambles, but he's not nagging me and he's not being critical. His voice is kind and inviting. If I spoke to myself the way God speaks to me I might respond very differently. I might be less sick of myself and my internal voice. I might soften.
So, my voice isn't really missing. It's just that the voice I'm hearing is not my true voice. It's not the voice I use with anyone else in any other circumstances. It's reserved for myself alone when I'm not living up to my own hopes or expectations. This voice is shrill and brittle and mean and no one would want to spend much time listening to it. It's no wonder that I avoid myself. If I had a friend who spoke to me this way that friend wouldn't get much of my time, and I doubt I would really consider her a friend at all.
I'm trying to use a different voice with myself today. I'm trying to mimic the voice that God uses with me. He's not sick of me. His voice is soft and loving and encouraging. He wants good things for me and he sees the gifts that are languishing. His voice is an invitation born of love. That's what I want to he listening to each moment as I move through my days and nights. Maybe if I'm quiet enough I won't have to mimic anything. Maybe the voice of God will be the only thing I hear.