It’s that time of year when everyone is talking about the polls. I do not know about you, but I cannot imagine being evaluated publicly with percentages of people who approve or disapprove of me. Yet in some ways we all take polls albeit on a bit of a smaller scale. This is the kind of poll we take when we are unsure of ourselves..when we want reassurance that we are making the ‘right’ decision…when we don’t want to take full responsibility for our choices.
My friend, therapist, mentor, Mary, always used to say to me ‘stop taking a poll’. It is easy to develop this habit. We all want feedback from time to time and we can learn valuable lessons from others and get some much needed perspective. At the same time, like anything, too much poll taking is not a good thing.
There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”
Looking outward for answers takes us away from our inner voice. I recently did something for my boyz because someone I respect had done it for her sons. It did not feel congruent for me but I went through the motions anyway. Every time I thought about it, I felt off in my stomach- like my gut was telling me it was not my truth. I went ahead and did it despite that gut feeling, because I gave more credit to my friend’s decision than to my own voice. I recognized afterwards that there was no right or wrong and that whether I did it or not would not make a whole lot of difference to the boyz and certainly not to anyone else. But I was reminded that I need to step back into myself. Why do I look to others to be the authority of what I should/should not be doing in my life? Why do I think they have it figured out and must be doing things in a ‘better’ way than I am?
We look outward for answers on what to wear, what to say, what to eat, how to exercise, how to decorate our house, how to parent our children…But for almost everything, there is no one ‘right’ way. And how boring would the world be if we all did everything the same way? Learning to tune into ourselves is crucial to our well-being . We are here for a purpose and no one else knows what that purpose is …heck -most often we do not even know. But the more we follow the inner voice and the more we tune in, the more we will hear our own truth…our own answers. It takes time and patience to cultivate this relationship but it is the most significant relationship of our lifetime…
This flower is blooming in a completely unnoticeable place in the woods off my driveway – stepping fully into itself without concern for: what is around it, if it fits in with this autumnal shift, if the trees, dead leaves, or pine cones are wanting it there….it is just Being…in it’s fullness…in its truth…in its beauty.
So I am consciously intending to call myself out when I find myself taking a poll…spend time tuning in instead of tuning out…and feeding the love of my inner wisdom.