The Audience

Audience in the cinema. Silhouette.Why is it so difficult to make even the simplest decisions?

Occasionally it feels like I am not the only one weighing in on my decisions.  There is a bit of “background noise” present, an audience that seems to be not too far off.  Although I cannot see them, they can see me. The audience is watching me, judging my every move. All. Of. The. Time.  Not only can they see me but also they rarely like what they see. Here are few samples of what I’ve heard them say,

“THAT’S what you’re wearing?”

“You could’ve done that better.”

“You should have been more prepared.”

“You made the wrong decision.”

I notice a few things happening when the audience’s volume goes up.  First, I DO NOT want them to say those things about me.  Secondly, I try to avoid the audience’s judgments by changing my actions, regardless if those actions are appropriate for my life or not.

For example, Cindy loves to read and write.  She has several books that she has started on her nightstand and keeps a journal that she gets to about once or twice a week.  When she does take the time to do one or even both, there is a sense of fulfillment that is quickly followed by guilt.  The audience chimes in, “You have a sink full of dishes.” “You’re so lazy.”  “What do you have to write?” “You don’t deserve to relax.”

Here is the rub.

Even when we attempt to do the things we love or are passionate about we run into this static that makes it so difficult to simply enjoy. Now, imagine if the choice was that much bigger. Instead of choosing to take time to read and relax the decision is for Cindy to change careers or pursue a passion? Can you imagine the volume and ridicule of the audience then? They are relentless.

So who is this audience? Why do they have so much power? How is it that my actions pivot so heavily on what they think and say about me?

At first glance it would be easy to associate society or our community to our audience.  This is often where we assume so many negative thoughts are coming from. But, no, we are our audience. The audience is our biggest critic, our negative personal messages exposed as described in my first blog here. They are so loud because they expose everything we think and feel about ourselves.  So we avoid it.  We don’t want to run the risk of our negative messages being true so our audience is like an alarm system for our negative messages. ALERT! ALERT! You’re probably going to fail!  ALERT! You are going to get hurt! ALERT!  We don’t like to get hurt.

The audience does NOT like to risk, be hurt, or exposed. Until we uncover how to turn down the volume of the audience and reduce the static, we are stuck.  So long as the audience’s opinion matters we are trapped being who we think we should be instead of who we are intended to be.

Discussion