On creating your own inner compass
Dear quarter lives,
An important part of the process of growing is learning to listen to your own inner guidance. I believe it is one of our main responsibilities towards ourselves to discover what our voice sounds like. The ironic thing is that the first phase of our lives is about the complete opposite thing. We are first born and come into the world ready to be moulded and shaped by the voices of others. We arrive ready to be parented. First, we are like sponges that absorb all that is around us — language, culture, norms, values. We become a condensed version of everything that we have been exposed to. Then… Then comes adolescence when we start to feel the weight of everything we have absorbed. Some of us react by emptying the sponge of everything that it’s absorbed, rebelling against it. Some hold on tighter to the water in the sponge, thinking they are this water, they are these values they have absorbed, but the more they fill, the more water leaks out. Somewhere along the line, whether it’s through a quarter life crisis or any other one, we are all forced to expunge the water from the sponge. We find ourselves some place where gravity no longer exists and all of a sudden any drop of water that was inside the sponge separates and exits the sponge and starts to float all around us, not in one piece, but in its individual droplets. And all of a sudden, perhaps for the first time ever, we can see each individual value or belief that has interacted with us. We see what we thought we were made of and realise that these things are not us. There is an us separate from all of these beliefs. There is an us that can choose which beliefs to hold within it, which values to embody. But how does one decide which values to give shelter to? How does one decide anything really? Deciding, how we decide, our own decision making process — that too after all is a value.
In a world that places greater value on rational thought than intuition, this becomes an important and pivotal value that arguably will shape all other values we choose. I would like to pause here for a moment on the word choose. Choose is not so different from decide, they are close cousins, synonyms. They both imply a will. They both imply a linear process from the subject making the choice to the object being chosen. What if, just what if, the relationship between chooser and what is chosen is not so linear, what if what is chosen chooses its chooser. It is possible. But it is only possible when we can acknowledge the limited way in which we perceive. Not dissimilar to our experience of time, it appears linear to us, it appears to be one-directional but it is not. And so it is with deciding and with choosing. Perhaps then the extra emphasis and value placed on rational thought comes from the assumption that we are always willing, that the flow of choice begins with us and our individual minds. But now that we have established that what is chosen can choose us as well, then perhaps we could start placing value on our listening abilities. How can we receive that signal from what is choosing us, how can we know that this thing has called for us? Is it through developing our intuitive abilities, valuing them, not belittling our natural signaling systems, giving all our systems a balanced distribution of power and importance? I really do believe we are collapsing under the weight of our minds for a reason, there is too much pressure on them. There is too much pressure on them to know, to decide, to choose. We have disconnected our minds from the wider systems of our bodies (both the physical and energetic bodies). And right now I am not calling for the opposite either, but I am calling to reintegrate our minds again back with our bodies, not only to relieve them of pressure but also so that we can receive better, so that we can flow better with life. So that we “choose” what is choosing us.
Balance is not just an important feature of outcomes, but of processes too. Balance in how we choose, how we will, how we receive, balance in our perception of our control, our power and knowing that it is always both fate and will. We need to open our minds and our hearts to the truth that listening is a form of choosing. To extend your antennae, to reintegrate your body’s type of rationality with your mind’s, to know that they are just different types of rationality — that is balance. To have values, but to know at the same time that all values can help grow us or destroy us; to know that today one value can be “good” whilst simultaneously being “bad” for another in some other place or at some other time in history — that is balance. So that means when we choose, we need to consult with our whole self – mind, body and soul. Whether you call it an inner compass or a higher self, there is a part of us that knows, senses and feels what is right for us. I must also pause here to take a moment or two to speak about rightness. Sadly, I think we are very confused about the ideas of right and wrong. We’ve been limiting them to these really rigid things. Right and wrong do exist. Right and wrong are necessary. But right and wrong, I believe, fall outside of morality. Rightness, I believe, is what is appropriate for our specific unique individual soul’s life experience. That means that to know what is right for us, we must learn through our own mistakes. And sometimes what is a mistake might be you choosing what other people would call “the morally correct way” and not doing the other thing that people would call “morally wrong”. We all have specific life lessons, life experiences and life journeys to go through and it isn’t just about us, it is about how each one of our life experiences enriches both the collective and individual experiences of all other living beings. What I mean is that sometimes poor people are not poor because they did something wrong or they chose it but poverty might’ve chosen them and Poverty with a capital P serves us all; it must exist because in its absence Life loses its balance. Without Poverty, Richness cannot exist. Without seeing poorer people than us, we eventually forget to be grateful. And it is not just poverty in resources I am speaking of here; there is poverty in joy, there is poverty in movement and poverty in sight. Without the blind, we forget how valuable our sight is to us. It is in seeing the other end of us, the opposites to us, that we can be who we choose and are chosen to be. And your life does not only serve You, it serves Us all. And not through how you think, but through every way you can be. So learn to listen deeply so you can recognise your own voice in the beautiful messed up crowd that is the entire world. Learn to receive what is for you and let go of what no longer speaks to you. Listen, so you can choose your chosen path and finally be who your whole system of being is yearning for you to be.
With love and always for peace,
p.s. I missed you. It’s been a while.