There are a lot of people out there with good intentions. They want to help, promote goodness, spread warm and fuzzy feelings over the whole world. They connect with others easily and inspire them.
I'm all for people connecting together to bring out the best in one other. Often, these relationships are great and balanced. However, sometimes they become lopsided and boundaries get crossed. At times, the relationship is codependent. At other times, one is not confident enough to follow one's gut or intuition and feels the need to check in with one's guru for every decision.
Hey- You can be your own guru! You can develop your internal sense of self and be your own personal guide to contentment.
Developing your gut instinct is a unique way to connect with the insight and knowledge that Hashem is trying to communicate with you. It's that feeling or your inner voice saying that something isn't quite right even though you can't put your finger on it or, on the contrary, that this is a good decision and you need to pursue it. It's an internal knowledge that makes you feel centered and sure of yourself. In short, it's a great feeling based on clarity and a complete understanding of yourself. It's calming even when you are up to your ears in difficulties. It's invigorating when you know you are on the right track. If you can develop it, it's bliss, If you already have it, celebrate!
Want to further develop your own deep sense of knowledge so that you can pursue your life goals and improve your middot? A few suggestions:
Evaluate relationships and how they affect your ability to hear yourself and develop your own thought process. Don't get overdependent on any life coaches, therapists, holistic practitioners, or parenting experts...the list could go on! Keep an independent mind, practice decision making without checking in with your best friend/sister/life coach. Use what they say to inspire you but if you find yourself feeling anxious without their guidance or calling them often, you may be squelching your inner voice.
Get off of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/etc... Ignore your news feed. Ditch the magazines that promote nothingness. It's brain pollution! Sound extreme? There is so much information out there and you need to have a strong sense of what's relevant and whats irrelevant. If you expose yourself too often to the irrelevant stuff, it takes up brain space (this is a fact: 80% of my brain space is occupied with song lyrics from the 90's) and sometimes the lines between what's relevant and what's not can get a little blurry. Keep up with your real friends, find and develop inspiring relationships, and ditch the superficiality that these sites promote. It's a waste of time and brain power.
Develop hobbies or careers based on what you love. When we are happy and engaged, we understand ourselves better. This inner understanding guides us and gives us energy to follow the correct path. To be able to develop a career based on what you love doing is a sure way to realize your tafkid (mission) in life.
Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. I think I am promoting meditation in every other blog. I believe in it that much. Meditation allows your body and brain to relax. The quiet is centering. Once the external chatter of life has been put on hold, you'll be surprised at what your mind will bring to the forefront.
And of course, Daven. Daven for clarity, for strength to make the right decisions, and for wisdom. Keep the dialogue always open and you may get some great answers.
The process for developing inner awareness is a long term process with no end. It's a constant, internal dialogue with ourselves about what we should do, why we do what we do and how we can make the best out of a situation or improve ourselves. The payoff is increased self-esteem, increased confidence, and increased emunah. And that is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.