My inner voice is usually kind. It reassures me that I'm good enough and, when things don't go as planned, makes up a fictional story where I'm the hero. Usually.
Unusually, the voice becomes an agent of chaos. It spirals, highlighting every flaw, real or imagined. "You're a fraud," it whispers, a sinister undertone in its taunt. "They're going to find out," it continues, "and when they do, they're going to tear you apart." This voice isn’t just negative – it's a vortex of fear and self-loathing that pulls me in.
I’ve realized, then, that my harshest critic isn’t you, it’s me. The cruel words you hurl at me pale in comparison to the vile things I say to myself.
And therefore, the greatest act of courage isn’t in confronting the world, but in facing myself. In looking into the mirror of the deepest parts of my soul and still choosing to speak words of kindness.