My Story: No. 4
Voices: Working In Unison to MakeGoodHappen
“My insecurity and fear continued, until my first stint in prison. I say “first” stint. I haven’t been behind bars for any length of time since those months I spent in the Buena Vista Penitentiary.”
There was a new voice in my life. Like most of us, I was at home with the two voices. Voices so memorably illustrated in childhood cartoons with the little haloed angel on one shoulder and the little pitch-forked devil on the other. They were a part of my “mental furniture.” But when I accepted the offer of the Spectre in the shadows I opened the door to another voice. He entered the living room of my mind and joined in conversation with my other voices. Learning how to host all of these voices has been the challenge of a lifetime.
As I think about it, I hear more than two voices. I’m not crazy, but my daily decision-making is a noisy, drawn-out affair inside my head; a little bit like an Italian opera. The tenor is my voice of passion urging me to satiate my desires. The countertenor is my aesthete, often crying out two favorite lyrics: “Deny yourself!” And “Live above your animal desires!” Like all of the voices in my head, these two are certain about what they want me to do. But I resist them, having learned the hard way that their advice is only sometimes right and more often wrong.