The Still Small Voice Within
When I was 16, I had a small thought in my head. “Make sure to bring a quarter with you today,” it said. I scoffed. When would I ever need a quarter? I ignored the thought. Later on, I needed to get home, and I had to use the payphone to call my dad. Shoot! I didn’t have the quarter. I was stuck in town for hours.
It began to dawn on me that perhaps this subconscious voice inside my head knew something I didn’t. I started to listen to the voice. “Bring a comb today,” it said, “you’ll thank me later.” Sure enough, the wind blew my hair around all day, and I could always fix the problem, because I listened. I began to get obsessed with this new friend.
Sometimes the voice in my head would say, “Turn right, go in a door, and look in the stack of books.” After doing exactly as the voice instructed, I would uncover a copy of a rare book I’d been missing for years. Sometimes I would find old pictures of friends. Or maybe a long lost video tape.
It became a religion of sorts, listening to the still small voice within. Sometimes the voice would tell me very specific things. “Take an extra antihistamine with you today.” Then during the day, I would find someone who was sneezing and sneezing, and really needed some relief. So I’d give them the antihistamine. None of the things I did really made me a millionaire or anything, but it was enough for me to always be listening.
I started to ask the voice questions and the answers would amaze me. Like what’s the meaning of life? “A life of meaning.”
This went on for a few years. Every morning I would listen to my special friend. At first I thought that it was just my subconscious putting together information in a helpful way. Like when you dream about your lost wallet, and then you find it the next day. But eventually I began to wonder if the voice was really someone else.
I stood at the precipice of creating my own religion. All I would have to do is convince other people that the voice in my head was real. After all, many religions and cults have gotten started for much less than what I experienced. I could become a ruler of men. A ruler of the world. All I would need to do is find some impressionable disciples who really believed in the voice in my head as much as I did.
Fortunately, the voice started saying some pretty dumb things. “Today you will DEFINITELY need a teddy bear, a rock, and two rulers.” I would carry all that stuff around and they never came in handy. Sometimes the voice would take me on wild goose chases, down dead end hallways, and up empty flights of stairs. I began to realize that the ‘voice’ was probably just my overactive imagination, and after a while, it stopped.
But what would’ve happened if I had really believed in the voice? Perhaps I would’ve been taken to a mental institution while I used my powers to try and escape. Maybe I would have been given drugs and psychotherapy to try and numb my problem. Or maybe I would’ve started a cult and endangered lots of people. Everyone would’ve called me crazy, and I would’ve insisted that I was completely sane. I would be trapped inside my mind, desperately trying to get out. Thankfully none of that stuff ever happened, and I went on to lead a normal, happy life.
Of course, there was still another voice in my head. I talked to it every night before I went to bed. It guided me in times of trial and desperation. And it told me that it loved me with all its heart. But it took a much longer time to realize that it was probably just as imaginary.