Finding our inner guidance is one of the greatest challenges we will ever face as a human. The difficulty is not in the acquisition of information that will lead us, but instead it is the letting go of beliefs that block our intuition, preventing us from trusting ourselves.
I was speaking with a friend the other day who found herself in the dilemma of making a difficult choice. She was being asked by a friend to do something she was not comfortable doing. She found it difficult to assert herself with her friend to let her know she didn't want to participate. When i asked her why she didn't just speak her true desire to her friend, she said that she didn't want to make her friend feel judged. I assume by her friend feeling judged that could cause conflict, conflict may result in loss of friendship, loss of friendship may result in feelings of loneliness. Our fear of loss is what ultimately leads us toward the compromise of our integrity. I have thought long about this conversation and can see myself over the years making the same mistake. I have forfeited my inner peace many times over the years because i have tried to make sure the opinion of the "other" was always favorable of me. Why would we ever sabotage ourselves in this way?
I think we sabotage ourselves when we choose not to self-generate our worth. We have been trained to look at the world "outside" of us for confirmation and reassurance that we are okay. We allow others opinions of us to determine our happiness level, confidence level, and overall self-worth. When we externalize our self-worth we give others a degree of power over us. We are easily manipulated because we have relinquished control to the ever changing opinion of the other. The truth is we are in control of our self-worth and no one can affect it until we give them permission. Essentially we are giving others permission to tell us how we are to feel about ourselves when we allow the world outside of us to define us.
How might my friend find the confidence to assert her desire of non-participation and not compromise her personal integrity? She must first recognize that she is responsible for creating the life she desires. She must be aware that she has authority to control her emotions and perception of self-worth. We are all responsible for generating our own self -love! And then she must allow her friend to assume exactly the same responsibility. If her friend chooses to feel judged by her non-participation....that will be the decision she makes. She should make every effort to be kind and diplomatic in her assertion, but in the end her friend must decide how she will choose to feel.
What i have described here is not easy! It is so challenging that it takes lifetimes to learn and master...maybe even multiple lifetimes? However, this paradigm will lead us to living fulfilled lives. It will allow us to exercise our personal integrity in a world so desperate for truth and goodness. We will quickly see how our internal needs are met on the internal level. We will begin to pour out the things we have been striving so desperately to acquire....love, happiness, joy, kindness, etc. It all begins within!!!