When we're caught in the middle, films and stories about characters sharing our plight will catch our attention and sympathies. We'll identify with the budding artist, social deviant or emerging revolutionary. We recognize the conflicting inclinations, passions and urges. We see wisdom in favoring the inner teacher, trusting the guidance found within and acting on feelings of self respect.
Thirty years ago, Dorothy Maclean, one of the original founders of the Findhorn community, wrote this perspective about her experience with being caught in the middle between an inner and outer voices:
The voice within is soft and loving, of an unbelievable gentleness; the voices without are harsh and strident. The voice within is full of love for you and everything; the voices without are full of concern for the false self, false values, for the things that lower the divinity in man. The voice within speaks with singleness of purpose; the voices without know not what they seek -- first one thing, then another, though all impair the dignity of man. The voice within woos the soul to perfection, the voices without shriek coldly of facts. The voice within holds truth as a kernel to cherish; the voices without twist truth to a mould that will inflate all falseness. The voice within concerns itself with the destiny of all; the voices without are wholly concerned with the advancement of one person ... (pp 31-32, To Hear the Angels Sing - Dorothy Maclean, Lorian Press, 1980)My first encounter with her book was a doing of my own inner teacher. I happened upon the book, rather than searching for. I discovered it answered my questions like a gift out of nowhere. Maclean's words resonated deeply with me, and still do, in ways that continue to reinforce my collaboration with my inner teacher.
The more we benefit from our inner teachers, the more obvious it becomes that most outer voices are based on fear. We are put in a bad light, pressured unnecessarily and criticized for trusting our inner guidance because people are afraid of our priorities, outlook and decisions. To them, our freedom, confidence and creativity looks dangerous. They cannot handle our outlook on life because it's unfamiliar, unrecognizable and incomprehensible. Until they find and enjoy their inner teachers, those of us already there will be outcasts like the Ugly Ducking, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Jumping Mouse.