2003-04-12 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand
The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

There is so much that we don’t control in our lives. As one goes further along on the spiritual path, a feeling of trusting oneself and God/Universe helps to lessen fear. I realize I will be able to handle riding the waves of life, and I can be more open or flexible. In addition, the need for approval of others also becomes less important. Self-approval and reflection is where the focus is placed. Doing or saying what I think is wise is more important than someone else’s reaction. My behavior is what I know is in my control.

We more easily allow other people to own their own reactions instead of taking them personally. It is not always easy to do. If someone handles a hea-lth situation with denial, for example, and I want to get the facts now, I can cause more pain for the person instead of letting them wait a week or two until he perhaps schedules an appointment. If our suggestions are not valued, then we must respect the path of another. However, we needn’t get sucked into his energy. If he wants to wait a week or two, don’t get caught up in his fear of the unknown. Just say, "Do you want to call the doctor today?", for example. We cannot control, but we also have our own boundaries and energy to protect. If someone I know is unkind, I may review what I’ve done and then conclude that the person must have had a bad day or is frustrated over something. The reaction may not even be more than an unloading of energy at a safe target. Venting at the right person is often a way some people feel better. Unfortunately for the one on the other side, it may not be very pleasant. But, it doesn’t mean we have to take it within ourselves. We can hear it, and then brush it off.

With self-love, comes a strong sense of respect for myself and what I know is good for me. I may choose to keep it private, but inside I know it’s what works. If we reveal ourselves and beliefs to others who are really not interested or want to understand, we may face ridicule or just strange looks. It is not necessary to prove oneself to anyone else. If we impress someone by example, then that person may ask how you do whatever the action is. That would be the time to explain. There is no sense in just creating greater resistance for yourself. If self-doubt occurs, then you need to re-examine what you are doing, and either change your beliefs or just keep quiet. It is unnecessary to concern ourselves with the way others think with a desire to change it. They are entitled to believe what they believe unless it hurts me. If what they be-lieve affects or impacts me, then I have no choice but to figure out what my best course of action should be.

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