Two men stroll down a leaf-covered wood-lot path on a clear, brisk Autumn morning. Jeff and Mark have been friends for years. They enjoy their Saturday morning walks and talks together. Yet, something's different about Mark today. Jeff senses there's a problem. But he says nothing.
Two minutes later Mark stops walking, and turns to Jeff. His eyes are searching for a place to begin. Then, following right behind his slowly spreading smile, these words spill out: "Jeff, are all these voices that are arguing in my head bothering you too?"
A second later, they both break out laughing. The spell Mark had been under was broken. He had been the captive of a dark inner dialogue.
What's a dark inner dialogue? Just what it sounds like: a negative tug-of-war in the unseen recesses of your mind where you're the only one pulling on both ends of the rope. Still more to the point: Being in a dark inner dialogue is finding yourself losing a heated argument when there's no one else in the room with you!
These unconscious conflicts, in dialogue form, play themselves out in our mind by painfully reenacting various scenes from our past; moments gone by in which we either know, or sense, we were compromised by our own weakness. And now comes a key thought.
If these inner dialogues were left to themselves as they popped into our mind, they'd be as powerless to disturb us as an echo is to change its own sound. Where we get into trouble, when resentment rules, is when we're unknowingly drawn into these scenes out of our past and find ourselves interacting with a cast of ghost players! The ensuing mental dialogue is always a desperate, but futile, attempt to change what has already been said and done -- so that maybe this time around -- we can come out a winner.
One good example of this kind of dark inner dialogue is giving someone a heated piece of your mind, when he or she is not around to hear it! Tired of going twelve rounds in routine fight scenes that always turn out the same? Try this new exercise for the winning solution.
If you sat down on a metal bench and suddenly realized the midday sun had heated it way beyond the comfort zone, you'd stand up as quickly as you could. The same Intelligence behind this instinctive physical reaction can help you release all resentments and drop their dark inner dialogues.
Each time you can catch yourself in a dark inner dialogue of any kind, use your awareness of the conflict it's creating within you as a springboard to help you leap out of those scary scenes from your past into the safety of the Present Moment. Then, instead of giving yourself back over to those inner voices of conflict that are still trying to converse with you, just remain quietly aware of yourself in the Present Moment, and of their continuing beckoning presence.
No matter how many times you hear in your mind those fighting words that have always prompted you to jump into that dark dialogue, refuse to join in. Ground yourself in your awareness of the Present Moment.
The unconscious resentment responsible for creating those heated scenes from the past can not follow you into the Now, which means no dark inner dialogue can tag along either. Why? Because when you're no longer a captive of your own past, then you can recognize its ghost voices as the source of psychic intrusion they really are.
Remember, no dark inner dialogue can ever solve an unresolved resentment any more than one end of a snake is less the serpent.