Recently I have started watching Dexter as my binge show. If anyone has watched this, it's about a vigilante who calls his invisible voice telling him to do bad things his "dark passenger". He has found a way of appeasing the inner workings of his mind in the most positive way he knows how by incorporating it into his life. He has accepted that it is a part of him.
I like the term Dark Passenger and I have chosen at this juncture to borrow that term for my own inner dialogue. I had always believed that once I was rid of that negative self talk I would become more successful as an artist and a person. I learned where the critic was born. I eradicated the people and choice in relationships that fed that voice. I spoke mantras and meditated. I went to therapy. I took medication. I took workshops.
In all of this I found two voices. The voice of my authentic empowered self and my dark passenger. It didn't leave. To this day it continues to whisper to me in the mornings before my mind is clear, or in my dreams in the form of fear. It will tighten in my gut telling me I have been abandoned, I will fail, I'm not good enough. It will loop like a scratched record.
So I have finally come to accept that my early childhood pushed a voice and a programming into me that will want to play itself out over and over again. When added stressors of money or performance come into play, it will try to knock on my door and ask me where my confidence and courage lie. It wants to know if it is invited to play and would love me to have conversations with it.
I believe that at this point, working to rid myself of my dark passenger is a waste of valuable time. It gives it too much attention and empowers it to get louder and manipulate my actions. Actions like procrastination, over planning, under planning, running, quitting, or just beating myself up when I look in the mirror. Ain't nobody got time for that. So now I give a gentle notice and pat on the head and say "Not today my small voice, I have things to do."
See all of the work I did to rid myself of this dark passenger, actually did work. I found the more I respected and believed in myself, the more the world respected and believed in me. I found that when I put myself out there INSPITE of that dark passenger, great things happened. I found that when opportunities appeared and I applied discipline, and intention, confidence showed itself. I found I was not what my dark passenger wanted me to believe. It was and is a hitchhiker that has burrowed into my subconscious and wants to rescue me from getting hurt. It actually did, but not in the way it planned. It pushed me into knowing myself better.
The thing about that is, I am not really a victim. I do not need to be rescued. Even by my small self, or my abused self, or my failed self, or my unloved self. Those were moments. Those were not me. Those times in my life were a part of the river that is my journey. They were not the clean water from where I began.
If you are a creative and are battling your inner voice, it's okay. But to detach from it as identity, and move on is a better use of energy. It takes moving first, then the detachment happens. It takes physical discipline and changes of habits and profound self awareness. But it can lead to fruitful pastures that will feed the soul and allow you to be who you are truly meant to be. The dark passenger may not leave, but the voice does not determine who you are. Your spirit does. This earth and that voice is temporary, but in my opinion, your spirit is eternal. Let that be your leader. It's effective.
The dark passenger is not necessarily a bad thing. I am a better person because of my experience. Those wounds made me who I am. There is hope in that. It doesn't need to be hidden or dissolved. It can be transformed into the most powerful teacher and creator of our best self. It can give us access to our humanity. Our power. Our accountability. Our wisdom.
As long as we do not take the identity of martyrdom, victimhood, and making it our story we are winning. We do not need the dark passenger for attention. Being wary of feeding the monster is how we do the switch without becoming the dark. It is not who we are. It is not me. It is not my identity. It is access to the new era of my life. It's time to step into the sunlight.