We’ve all got them – these voices that speak in varying tone and volume and with a variety of messages, occasionally positive, but more often than not pretty mean. There are three categories in which to lump these voices – blame, shame, and Truth. The blaming voice supplies explanations for why whatever the problem is – “It’s not my fault.” This voice is well acquainted with my dysfunctional childhood, my hard-ass boss, and the ineptness of other drivers and their propensity to make me late. This voice comes across as angry or indignant, and it can also be quite calm and rational, especially when explaining why others and circumstances have made it impossible for me to succeed.

The next voice is one with whom we are probably most familiar – the shame voice. Much of what it says dances around general themes like “I’m not good enough,” “I never do anything right,” and “I knew it wouldn’t work out because I’m always messing up.” Like the blamer, this voice is strong, persistent, and hard to tune out. It often has the tone and intonation of a harping parent.

The third voice is the Truth, that wise voice of reason and reality. It is a calm, yet firm voice that is often drowned out by the other two. Sometimes it is hard to hear because it is so undemanding. While it may not be loud and insistent, it is loaded with insight – some of it hard to hear. It refuses to blame, either self or others, but it also does not let me off of the hook. It will nearly always offer a point of view that puts me in charge, responsible for accepting all the choices that got me into whatever situation I am in, and responsible for making the choices that will ultimately take me where I want to go. This voice is proactive, patient, and determined.

When my husband of three months dumped me for a girlfriend from his youth, my blamer was vindictive, mentally lambasting him with every negative thought I had ever had about him. Of course all of this, absolutely every bit of it was his fault. When the initial shock wore off, I slipped into shame and began listing all the things I had done wrong. I had gone on a trip and left him at home for three weeks. I wasn’t woman enough to keep him. I should have been more attentive. When I tired of beating up myself, I reverted back to listing his sins. Countless thoughts kept me volleying back and forth between blame and shame.

Then I realized I was getting nowhere fast, and I felt totally powerless – a true victim. I decided write since that practice comforted me. Maybe then the voices would quiet. If I could document what a jerk he had been, then maybe I would find some peace. Plus, I wanted to understand what had gotten me into that relationship and what would guarantee that I never got into that situation again. With time I realized no one held a gun to my head and made me marry him. Plus, I had to admit; I had ignored countless red flags and married him anyway. I did not always like what the voice of Truth had to say, but gradually I felt myself shift from a victim to the creator of a life for which I take total responsibility. Too Much Gold to Flush, The Gift of Infidelity chronicles that journey. Buy a copy today and get acquainted with your own inner voices.