Two of my friends have had life-changing results from inner dialogue. Both, as their cancer returned a second time, were encouraged by their spiritual directors to dialogue directly with the disease. One told me she had an amazing epiphany and learned extremely important information about herself. The other said she began her dialogue considering the cancer her arch-enemy and ended the dialogue befriending and being befriended by it. Both are cancer free and have been for quite some time.
We need not feel something on the inside is eating us alive in order to achieve positive results from a written dialogue. Jungian analyst and writer Robert Johnson says he dialogues with his inner self each morning. Engaging in what he calls Active Imagination, he asks if there is anything his ego is doing to upset his inner self. And he says the answer usually is ‘yes.’
Something in us needs to become curious about what may lie beneath our rational consciousness. Curious enough to ask a question.
Why am I so angry about _________?
Why can I not reach closure on ___________?
Why am I not giving myself permission to ________?
‘Why’ questions usually are the best to begin with.
And understand at the outset that our Inner Wisdom is as playful as it is wise. The responses we receive may very well begin with, “What do you think?” But that very response, posed as a question by a ‘voice’ beyond our head, may be the very question to initiate new thinking that will lead to new insight.
Remember, our free will is never compromised. Dialogue with our Inner Wisdom is not a leap of faith, nor a courageous act, nor surrender. It is simply an interview—questions and answers—an exercise we decide to undertake to learn more about ourselves. A dialogue we can end at any time.
We will know when a resolution to an issue has been found. A satisfactory ending will occur.