We all have voices in her heads. Those words and phrases which tell us things about ourselves that we often believe, because we’ve heard them before. For Neurodivergent individuals, the times we’re told we’re “not good enough” or we’re “not trying hard enough” become echoes which live on in her minds long after we’ve left the situation that told us who we were to others. And there’s something I realized about those voices. They’re not just of past people we knew, but also contain the echoes of past paradigms.

A common voice is the one who tells you that you can’t “earn a living” doing something. For neurodivergent people that “thing” is usually following your special interests. That voice comes from well-meaning individuals in your past, but also, capitalism. That paradigm, under which our society is formed, especially in the United States where there isn’t any social support for most people, whispers to us through the voices of people we know. We internalize it. And we need to work to rid ourselves of that voice so we can truly live our authentic selves.

I find quieting my mind allows me to question those thoughts that arise. Breathing through meditation, a focus on the breath grounds me in my body, in the here and now. In this mindfulness, I seek, and find, my truth. And when that happens, those voices become apparent for what they are, people and institutions which believe they have our best interests at heart–but do not.

It’s vital we listen to those echoes with the understanding that they do not have our best interests at heart.

Though parents, family members, or others seek to "protect" us from heartache and pain, their parroting of the things they were taught, the -isms which shape their lives, actually cause the very harm they want to keep us from… Share on X

And so, it’s up to us, to really listen to the words in our mind. It’s up to us to recognize the echoes of the past, and it’s up to us to determine what we want to do with them. Do we want to live with them and have them control our lives? Or do we want to shed them, like a snake sheds it skin, so we can live anew in our authenticity? The choice, as always, is ours.