You know how they always say to “Go with your gut?” Sometimes I’m not sure about this. I’ve gone with my gut, and afterwards realized that it was the spoiled child in me, wanting something that turned out not to be good for me. When I hear a voice inside me, or have a gut feeling about something, how do I know if I should follow it or not?
Bewildered in Benicia
I am SO pleased that you asked this great question. As an addict in recovery, there are plenty of things my mind has told me to do that, when I listened, led me to my own little hell. Heck, creating hell for others along the way. So I agree that one cannot always trust every little voice inside.
That said, I have come to be better able to discern between The-Higher-Part-Of-Me-That-Knows and the other, less trustworthy, voices within. I have found that there are a few clear warning signs when I am hearing from someone other than my highest guiding self. Here are some of the questions I ask myself:
1) How will I feel about myself, or my choices, after having followed through on the suggestion? For example: “Eat that entire box of cookies!” Even though my initial response may be excitement or joy, I know I will not continue to feel happy about it if I follow through!
2) Does what I am being led to do harm myself or anyone else? (If so, is there another way to honor my Self and not cause harm?)
3) Do I feel a sense of relief when I imagine going down the road considered? This one is more complicated. For instance, I have definitely had experiences where the road I knew was mine to take – for which I would be most grateful afterward – ignited complete dread within. But even still, there was a sense of relief mixed in…a knowing that in the long run, I would be a happier person and others would be served if I followed that road.
4) Am I being reactive? I need to throw this one in here. Because, there are times when I feel clear about something to do but, if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am wanting to retaliate in some way. When I am triggered or emotional, I do my best to not take action. You know how they say ‘when in doubt, throw it out’? My version for this is, “when in reaction, don’t take action.” 😉
Two other things your question brings to mind:
- a) the value of meditation, for checking in and inquiring about “who” is suggesting I do something. And
- b) friends and/or coaches/counselors, whom I deeply trust, to bounce ideas off of.
These are just some of the methods I employ. I hope these are helpful to you.
Blessings and Love to you in all you do!
How do you know the difference between inner guidance and your inner brat? Share your comments below!
Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org