The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself. ~Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be. ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
Within you is a fountain of wisdom. And you sell yourself short every time you allow some authority to define your limitations and cage your potential. Even if that authority lives in your head. ~Vironika Tugaleva, The Art of Talking to Yourself
Sometimes there are things we know. What our next steps are. Decisions that need to be made. Changes that need to happen. We know, deep down in our bones and being.
And yet. We don’t listen. Or we don’t want to listen.
Because the change feels to big. Because the process feels too painful. Because there is a part of us that doesn’t want the change, wants things to go back to the way they were.
Also because we were taught, from a very young age not to trust ourselves. Not to trust our own inner knowing.
So we look for ways out.
We look to signs from the Universe, the cards, the songs on the radio, the grocery store clerk. We ask everyone under the sun what they would do.
We talk ourselves in circles trying to find any way we can to not do the thing we know we need to do.
We do all this in an effort to avoid doing what we know we need to do.
We don’t listen to our own inner truth.
We seek answers outside of us when they are screaming at us from within.
We do this to avoid pain, discomfort, the unknown.
We do this out of fear.
We do this to try and escape the grief that is welling up inside of us.
Or the hurt.
Or the anger.
Or the frustration.
Or all of the above.
Regardless of the whats or whys, we don’t listen to our Self. We don’t listen to our Truth.
We stop our own metamorphosis.
We keep ourselves stuck.
We put on fronts and masks.
We try to pretend everything is fine as it is.
But everything is not fine.
And if there is one thing that is constant and inevitable in our lives it is change.
Sometimes that means trying harder, trying different.
Sometimes that means letting go, surrendering, allowing.
It always means going outside our own comfort zones.
It means doing what we know we need to do.
Even if we don’t know what is on the other side.
Even if we are terrified of the process.
Even if it breaks our hearts that things need to be the way they need to be.
Trusting ourselves, trusting our own knowing, is no easy task. It is not something we learn to do, in fact it is something we were born with knowing and then it was taught out of us. We were conditioned to trust others over our own Self. We were told we don’t know what is best for us or our own lives. We were trained to seek answers outside of us and to never look within.
But here’s a thing: we were born knowing how to trust our Self. We were born with the knowledge of how to connect with our own innate wisdom. We were born listening to our own needs, wants and truths, and never, ever questioning them.
We were born with a blind faith in ourselves.
I don’t know that we can, or should, get back to that blind faith. I am a deep believer in curiosity, questioning, analyzing, and understanding. I believe we should always check in with ourselves and see if there are shadow pieces, hidden motivations, unconscious agitators, to what we see as our truth, as our knowing.
And all of that requires deeper looking within. Not outside. Within.
And a willingness to actually trust ourselves. And then to honor that trust and do what we know we need to do.
This was originally written for my weekly newsletter in September 2018 and was edited and updated for publication here. To receive my most current essays you can subscribe here.