Sean of the South: Little Voice


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sean dietrich w dogBy Sean Dietrich

Hi there. This is that Little Voice inside your head speaking. Yeah, I know. It’s been a while. But how are you? How’s life? How’s the fam? You still doing keto?

Listen, I know we haven’t talked in a long time, but technically, that’s not my fault. You probably don’t remember this, but you quit listening to your inner voice just as soon as you hit the fourth stage of puberty.

The moment you developed armpit hair, you became a lot more concerned with getting a driver’s license, French kissing, and eradicating zits.

So over time that voice inside you got quieter. Oh, sure, every now and then you’d hear me droning in the background like Charlie Brown’s teacher. But you never actually listened.

Although there were a few times…

Remember that rude waiter a few weeks ago? When the meal was over, you almost stiffed him with the tip. But then, you dug into your wallet and gave him a ridiculously generous gratuity.

Did you ever stop to wonder why you did this? Well, I’ll tell you why. Because the teeny, tiny voice reminded you that being generous was not just kind, it was right. That Little Voice was me.

There was that other time, when you gave a ride to two Mexican young women who didn’t speak English. Their car broke down in the Walmart parking lot, and they were crying. You helped them out because that faint voice would not shut up.

Also me.

And let’s not forget about the time you almost got into that fatal car wreck.

No, wait. You never knew about that one. You never did know how close you came to the end. Because the Little Voice told you to pull off the interstate immediately before the disaster happened. And you actually listened. In a few seconds there was a ten-car pile up on I-65, and four people were killed.

Still, most of the time you keep me turned off. Sometimes you sense me reminding you to use your turn signal, not to play on your phone too much, and not to cuss during third down situations. But most of the time you never even hear me talking.

The thing is, if you’d listen to me once in a while, you would discover that I know stuff. Big stuff. Important stuff. I am a very smart Little Voice. I don’t have time to run through my whole résumé, but I’ll hit the highlights.

For starters, I’m older than you. Way, WAY older. In fact, I’m ancient enough to remember when the Dead Sea was just getting sick. The Grand Canyon was still a teenager when I was celebrating my 2,000000000 kajillionth infinity.

Secondly, I love you. I’m part of you. I’m part of your soul. So in a way, you and I are like peanut butter and jelly. We go together. We are inseparable. Think of me as electricity that makes an appliance work.

Your body is like a GE washing machine, only with more adipose tissue. Without electricity, a washing machine is just a big metal box.

I am the amperage running through the circuit breaker, the plug, the electronics. I am the voltage that makes the agitator spin inside the drum. I am the most important part of the machine. I’m not asking for any credit here, I’m just telling you how it is.

In fact, that is why I am writing this letter. Because I’ve been watching you recently. I saw you crying this morning when your wife was in the hospital; I saw you weeping when hospice administered your mother’s final meds; I watched you crumble on your bathroom floor and bawl because the doctor gave you bad news; I saw you shut down when they told you your son committed suicide.

I was with you. I was right there. I was speaking to you, but you were too upset to hear me. Hey, that’s okay. Believe me, I get it. This is the darkest period you will ever go through.

I’m here to tell you that you’re going to make it through this mess.

The problem is, your brain is turning against you. Your brain keeps telling you this is the end, that your life is over. Your brain is telling you to quit. To stop trying.

Don’t trust your brain. Your brain knows nothing. Your brain is full of a plentiful substance commonly found in barnyards and hog pens.

I am telling you, without the slightest hue of doubt, you will survive this. You will be okay. One day, by and by, this will all be over, and you’ll understand it better. But for now, just know that this is not the end.

And here’s the thing: Deep inside yourself, you know I’m right. You don’t need a heavenly sign for proof of this. You don’t need anything to convince you. Because within the innermost, most profound layer of your soul, you just know. You know what I’m saying is true.

Because I am your Little Voice.

Or you can always call me by my other name.