2008-07-11 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

With those we love, we think we always have their best interests at heart. We think of how their lives should be, and we construct scenarios of how they should be living. If they are not living according to our own view of how it should be, we may feel frustrated and feel we must point out the way. Have you ever wanted to help someone so much, because you really care about him or her, that you wanted to control that person? We want to make sure the other is doing it my way, which is the right way. It sounds so wrong in these terms, but did you ever think your spouse or children should be doing it differently? It is so easy to care so much, we believe, that we have to help him or her see the light. We want to prevent future mistakes for our children, for example.

Our society is based on the individual. Each of us has the right to make certain personal choices. We have to step back sometimes and give our opinion in an appropriate manner when the decision is not ours to make. I might want to share my opinion, but these days I try to say it once, not 10 times. No one will do what you say anyway if he or she does not believe it is the way to go. Since all of life is a growth experience from the spiritual perspective, we cannot assume that everyone's lessons are the same as ours. People want different things out of life. One person may want to amass great wealth, while another is interested in physical prowess or intellectual brilliance.

Different people get different experiences, which provide a learning opportunity. In the end, we all leave the Earth. How we live inbetween is our choice and challenge. It allows us to take responsibility for what we do, and learn from the past.

Having trust and faith in a higher power helps us to do this. We can believe that there is something important for the other to experience here. We can help along the way with support or advice, but then we must let go of our worry which will cloud the ability to see reality as it is. So many things pop up that we didn't even expect. So, in trying to let go of worry or the thought that my way is the only way, remember that if there is something that you must know or do, chances are your instincts, not your insecurities, will point the way for you.

If our perception is not clouded by the fear of our insecurities or our own desire to control, we will know how we can help each step of the way. The idea is to know when to remain an observer so that you don't lose the love or trust of those you care about most. If you know that you are the kind of person who must always be right, you may want to let go of that thinking and give yourself and the others in your life more freedom.

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