As children, we assume the voices of the adults and older siblings around us. Watch and listen to children at play and it is easy to ascertain what the adults around them are saying to them.
“Okay Stefan, just keep working at it. You'll eventually succeed.”
“What a stupid thing to do Megan. Now pay attention, you idiot, and maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to do it.”
“Boy are you ever a loser. You might as well give up. You're never gonna do it.”
These are some of the ways we talk to ourselves. As children, it is often out loud. As adults, we verbalize it sometimes but often, it is only in our heads. It affects us none the less.
Children who grew up in an emotionally abusive household in which they were called names or labeled with adjectives such as lazy, stupid, selfish, or mean, could still develop an angel voice. Sometimes, a teacher, a relative, a family friend, or older sibling gives the child encouragement that takes hold inside the child so he/she can combat the negative, self-critical voices. Or an angel voice can develop from deep inside an individual where a knowing or sense of your own beauty and goodness emerges. A book, a movie, the lyrics of a song, all can touch you and remind you that you are good, worthy, and deserving of love.
After working with me on developing his angel, Pat Monahan from Train wrote "Calling All Angels." It's worth downloading and listening to the lyrics, as they speak to the development of a strong angel voice.
There is no need to blame your parents. Regardless of your upbringing, you can have and cultivate a strong angel voice. You may have had parents who were extremely loving and supportive, yet you still have an atrophied angel voice. This can happen because children make up stories about their parents and the world around them based on incomplete information. For instance, a parent might say to a child, “You got an A in English last semester. How come you got a B this semester?” The child could read criticism, disappointment, even judgment into this, depending on the tone of voice. Even if the parent were simply curious or concerned, the child could take the statement and question and turn it into a harsh self-judgment. Children do this all the time. We, as adults now, did this when we were children. Some of us still do it to this day.
All of us can develop a healthy and strong angel voice if we put our effort into it. Feeling good about yourself is good for your physical health, your emotional well-being, your social self, and more.
When you consider the alternative, why wouldn't you want to feel good?