Daily InspirationWhen someone behaves in a way you don't like, you have only three choices: accept them while compassionately embracing your feelings, open to learning to reach understanding and acceptance, or accept that their behavior is not tolerable to you and leave. Changing them is not an option, for only they can change themselves, and only if they want to. By Dr. Margaret Paul
Trusting your GuidanceBy Emily Agnew
December 31, 2006
If you have experienced trouble trusting your Guidance, help is here! Emily shares her own experiences of learning to trust her Guidance.
Learning to trust my spiritual guidance has been the most challenging aspect of Inner Bonding for me. I can usually figure out what I am feeling, and often have insights as to why I am feeling that way. I can be gentle and empathic with my internal little girl. And I've been blessed to have a clear connection with a voice inside me that offers me clear wisdom and guidance. This voice can be poetically expressive, or very funny. Sometimes it is exasperated. The messages may be simple and mundane: "Go to bed - NOW." Or they may be poetic and profound.
These days, I consult my guidance many times an hour, listen carefully to what I'm hearing, and try to act on it. But this was not always so. Why would I ever have chosen to ignore or discount such profound, personal, loving wisdom? Why do I still do that sometimes? Even now, as I write, I am aware of the power and clarity of what flows out of my fingers onto the computer screen, if I close my eyes and let the next sentence come from Spirit. Yet I keep "forgetting" this, and trying to write out of my head. Why is this?
It is very hard to give up control. The wounded self, the ego, whatever I feel like calling that part of myself that believes it can control things, is life-and-death scared to give up control. Sometimes that part of me will listen to reason, and release its grasp a bit in some area of my life. But more and more I'm seeing the necessity of loving boundaries. Just as a child needs loving boundaries, our wounded self - which is, after all, a child - needs a firm present of a loving Adult to set down limits. We may think the fear we are experiencing is due to the situation at hand. Our wounded self truly believes that we can control this situation, and that when we succeed in doing that, we will stop feeling afraid. THIS IS A LIE. And it is the lie that causes our fear, because our inner Child knows very well we cannot control other people or external events. We can only control our own actions and beliefs.
Recently I was offered short-term, lucrative work with an organization I have worked for many times in the past. I knew I needed guidance to make the decision, so I told the manager I'd call back the next day. As I hung up the phone, my stomach started to hurt. So I tuned in. My wounded self was saying, "You HAVE to take this work. It would be beyond irresponsible to turn down the chance to cover half your monthly basic expenses in four days of work. You are starting this new business, your other income is down - you HAVE TO TAKE THIS WORK." I could hear my little girl, too: "Please, PLEASE don't take that job! Please don't make me be around those people again! I don't like how they treat me. It is so disrespectful and it feels awful."
In the din of voices, and over the pain in my stomach, I listened for the voice of Spirit. I heard, "Do not take this work. The only way to stop abandoning your little girl is to do just that- stop abandoning your little girl. You can't say, "I'll care for her - unless you offer to pay me such and such an amount of money."
In the past, I would have taken the work. But I didn't. I turned it down. What was different this time?
What has changed is the strength of my intent to follow my guidance. This changed over time, as I allowed myself to see how I felt when I followed or didn't follow the wisdom I was downloading from Spirit. We naturally tend to focus a lot on the first five steps of the Inner Bonding process - tuning in, dialoguing with our inner Child and wounded Child/Adult, connecting with our guidance, and taking loving action. But the last step is so important - tuning in to how you feel after you've taken whatever action you decide to take.
For many people, hearing guidance is like trying to pick out the steady but very faint pulse of the radio signal emitted by a distant star. There is a lot of background noise and static. You wonder, "Is that my guidance? Or is it my imagination? Or is it my wounded self, telling me what I want to hear?" All that is fine! Take your best guess what you are hearing, then act on it. You'll know whether it was your guidance, by how you feel afterwards. Loving action is followed by greater peace and joy, and a sense of integrity and "rightness."
The more often you do this, and the more significant the decisions you make based on your spiritual guidance, the more clear the signal will be, and the easier it will be for you to recognize it and hear it. We are meant to live in joy! That's what I realized that day. I saw that I could choose to take the work, to earn the money, and to live with a stomach ache and a miserable inner Child for three weeks till it was all over. Or I could have peace and joy, and trust I would be guided to earn the money I need in some way that felt really good to me. I chose the second option, and as soon as I picked up the phone and turned down the work, my stomach stopped hurting.
Spirit summed it up for me with rueful humor, saying, "You can either listen directly to me, which is much more fun, or you can be guided by bouncing against the boundaries I have set up for you to keep you on track. Most people just do that, then curse me every time they hurl themselves on the barrier and get a bruise."
Your guidance is always there for you. The more often you choose to ask for it, listen to it, and act on it, the more you will trust it. The more you trust it, the more often you'll ask...and the more you'll experience peace and joy.
For example, I inquired recently about my meditation practice, wondering what would be loving. I have followed a Zen koan practice for many years, but since I began practicing Inner Bonding, I realized that I was using this practice as a form of violence against myself. I had this dialogue with Spirit (when I am writing, Spirit always answers me in capital letters):
Spirit, what is the truth of the belief that I should be doing a koan practice?
IT IS NOT TRUE.
Could you say more? About what would be loving, around meditating?
FOR YOU, BEING PRESENT IN A GENTLE, ACCEPTING, COMPASSIONATE WAY IS LIKE SOFT RAIN FALLING ON DRY EARTH. THE FORCEFUL EFFORT OF A KOAN WILL SEEM IMPRESSIVE TO YOUR DISCURSIVE MIND. BUT THE RAIN WILL RUN OFF THE HARD GROUND, LEAVING IT UNSOFTENED.
Should I follow my breath, then?
EVEN THIS IS MORE CONTROL OR DIRECTION THAN YOU NEED. JUST GENTLY OBSERVE. YOU CAN GENTLY, LIGHTLY NAME WHAT YOU SEE; FOR A WHILE, THIS MAY BE HELPFUL TO YOUR INNER CHILD, NOTICING, "THIS IS THE PAST." "THIS IS THE FUTURE." YOU CAN DO THIS ALL DAY.
Thank, you Spirit.
YOU ARE WELCOME.
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