What if we started asking ourselves periodically throughout our day “Does that feel like the most loving thing for myself?”
What if we started to ask ourselves that question every time we make choices and decisions, big or little? Would it change things?
Would we do things differently? Would our lives be different?
Doing the most loving thing doesn’t mean doing the easy or most comfortable thing. It means becoming present to ourselves, tuning in, to see what the best choice is, the most loving choice in any particular circumstance.
We all have that quiet inner voice that tells us what is right for us whether it’s a big decision or a small one.
- Is drinking that cup of coffee the most loving thing for my body right now?
- Is continuing to work in that environment the most loving thing for me or should I look for another job?
- Is staying with that man or woman (even though he/she has lied to me) the most loving thing for me?
It may be the most loving thing to stay.
The thing is, it’s not about blanket judgments, but about learning what is best for YOU.
Each of us has a unique path on this earthly journey. Your way is probably not your neighbor’s way. Your friend’s choices are probably not the right ones for you.
Here’s an example:
Carol, a strong, independent career woman, found out that her husband was cheating. She had proof, but he continued to deny it.
Carol went into a tail spin, crying, despairing, cursing……she looked for solace in their teenage daughter, sharing details that were way too intimate. Her work suffered, she neglected herself and her friendships. She felt destroyed. She planned to leave him.
Her daughter finally told her to stop feeling sorry for herself and make a decision. (Something a teenage daughter probably would say)
Hearing this from her 16 year old daughter stopped her in her tracks. In a moment of clarity she saw the truth in this and re-connected with her Self. Factual, realistic and calm, she made the decision to stay…… it seemed right to her.
Finding their way back together was rough. She had to make the choice daily, hourly sometimes, but she knew she was on the right path. Slowly, through their shared interests and focusing on the good things between them the wounds began to heal.
Now, 10 years later, she is again that strong, clear-headed woman. She has lots of friends and is involved in many activities. Her relationship has evolved and is easy going with plenty of laughter.
For Carol it was the right decision to stay, even though she didn’t get closure because her husband never acknowledged the pain he caused. She listened to her inner guidance.
It’s a different story for Hannah:
Hannah was initially completely charmed by her husband’s ability to have incredible philosophical conversations. They practiced yoga and meditated together. Being quite the intellectual and very spiritual, this kept her interested and fulfilled for a long time.
She didn’t notice his unbelievable selfishness for years; that he never really helped, nor supported her endeavors. How he made her pay for everything, while he kept his money for things he wanted. How he went away to be with other women and said he couldn’t answer her calls because he didn’t have good phone reception.
When she finally began to see him for who he is – it was a very slow process – she became overwhelmed with the mess her life had become and was filled with despair. She beat herself up for not seeing it sooner. She wanted him to leave.
After agonizingly painful months, she chose to stay. She didn’t see a way out for herself. She told herself that he needed her and couldn’t make it on his own.
Today, although still together, they barely speak; she has lost all her inspiration and ambition. He hasn’t changed. They are simply co-existing.
Can you see why Carol’s decision was loving and Hannah’s was not?
Carol made the decision from her center, her strength; she listened to that still small voice. Hannah, on the other hand, was unable to connect with her Self, she was afraid to listen to that voice and chose from fear.
Those are major decisions in our lives.
But every day here are a million smaller decisions to tune into to learn which choice is the most loving for ourselves.
Don’t ever feel guilty about taking care of yourself. There’s a difference between honoring your path and being selfish.
If you don’t honor yourself, you may find you have nothing left to give, to yourself or others.
When we pay attention, we notice that all day long we are being guided by that little small voice. It may be difficult to hear at first, it’s very gentle and soft, never demanding.
The more we acknowledge it, however, the easier it is to hear. It is our loving inner guide that wants to support and help us on our journey.
We may feel tired and want to skip the workout, but something within urges us to do it anyway.
Sometimes we feel a nudge to make conversation with that stranger next to us, but we don’t. That very conversation may bring the answer to something we’ve been wrestling with for weeks.
Or we feel stressed over a situation and keep doing, doing, doing to try and fix it – when the most loving thing is to just take a break and do something enjoyable.
The more we can tune into ourselves, become mindful of this available guidance within us, the more we hear it. We are developing mindful self compassion. The kinder (instead of harsh and critical) we treat our soul in this physical body the smoother life becomes.
The more we learn to listen to our unique voice, the less we judge others. Our compassion and understanding grows. We develop clearer boundaries in our lives. We learn to trust and find peace, because we discover that all is well.
To learn to find your inner voice, contact me