The Dilemma of Discerning The Right Path ...

The Dilemma of Discerning The Right Path For You

Aug 08, 2022

When we choose a path based on external validation, approval or to enhance our reputation, for example, we quite naturally drift-off course and away from the truth of who we are, what we really long for, and what we really need.

We might decide to take a further professional training; do a Masters or take some other considerable course of action because we feel we “ought to”, or because we feel it will raise us up in the eyes of our peers, or family.

Or, we might be trying to relieve the internal pressure from our inner-critic, who has told us that we’re not good enough for so long; that we're simply not up to it and that others are always better than us. Remember, the inner-critic and false-self are solely externally focussed as they formed to help us survive and fit-in with those around us long ago.

All of these things place us in an internally pressurized state, where our “shoulds” takes the lead, rather than listening to the true yearnings of our heart and soul. Where the more externally focused and driven part of us is directing us, rather than our internal and frankly, much more reliable and authentic compass.

So, how can we discern which part is at the helm and which one we REALLY want to listen to? (Hint: We usually already know the answer but we dismiss, bury or deny its validity and inherent promise of ease and peace).

Here are a just few suggestions for discerning the right path for YOU:-

  • Sit and place your hand on your heart. Gently breathe in and out through your heart centre. Let yourself come into a calm and regulated state. Then quietly ask your heart what it really wants? Which direction do you really want to go in? Feel into your true underlying emotional state and the inherent intelligence of your heart: What do you yearn for and what do you not want to be doing next?

  • Next, notice how your energy levels and enthusiasm rise or fall when you imagine actually taking that action vs. not going ahead. What shifts in your physiology, emotions and state of mind? Do you feel enthused or lacking in energy when you consider one option or the other?

  • Where does a sense of 'rightness' and alignment occur? From going ahead or stopping and reassessing your options? Or from choosing something else entirely?

  • Finally, from a more cognitive place, spend some time assessing just WHO you might be doing this for: Which people from your past or present cause you anxiety and you still feel the need to perform better for in order to receive their praise, acceptance and approval? If there is even just one person, then you are not choosing a direction which is really right for you and your true growth.

It’s really scary to drop something we’ve committed or even partially committed to, as this leaves a vacuum and an empty space of nothing; at least for a time anyway.

But that’s the whole point.

Because it’s in the empty space of the void where the thing that is REALLY right for you can come in. If we are half or fully committed to something we leave no space for the other, usually as yet, unknown opportunity and which might actually be far better for us in the end, to be able to find us.

But this involves courageously entering the space of: “What now…?” And that takes a leap of faith for sure, but it always seems to turn out this way I find.

When we let go of something which holds the weight and pressure of the ought's and should's it seems we can then receive that which we could never have imagined and often, quite effortlessly too…

As Rumi so wisely suggests: “What you seek is also seeking you”.

© Angela Dunning

Image by Kwadrat, Shutterstock.

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