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There are times in life when we have to make the big decisions—the ones that will change the course of our journey from that moment forward.
It can feel utterly paralyzing trying to decide which path to take, especially when it involves upsetting another. Perhaps it means we leave a career to try something we’ve craved for years. Maybe we decide it’s time to leave an unhealthy relationship or end a marriage because it wasn’t working despite our best efforts.
If you are anything like me, you overthink and attempt to analyze every consequence of your decisions, trying to establish the best possible outcome for everyone impacted. Our mind takes us on a roller-coaster of worry, anticipation, confusion, and contemplation, and thus, our painful emotions run wild.
Often this all stems from a need to control our external circumstances. We think that we know what’s in the best interest for everyone around us, so we try to orchestrate how the impact of our decisions manifest. But we never have control of our environment or how other people respond, we only have control over how we react to life—and how we flow with it. Sometimes that means realizing that our situation, or relationship, is never going to change and accepting that we can only take responsibility for ourselves and how we show up in the world.
When it comes to making the big decisions in life, we must move from our rational mind and into our heart and body. If we take time to listen to what our body is telling us, we are guided by its inner knowing. I believe that this comes directly from the universal spirit that permeates every living thing.
This force of life knows what the right course for us to take is, and it attempts to guide us each and every day. Yet too often, our busyness, distraction, external influences, and need to control gets in the way, and we are unable to hear and feel our own wisdom. Sadly, this is a common problem—we rely so heavily on others for the answers that we forget to trust that our spirit is beautiful and wise.
Have you ever felt so deeply in your gut that something was not quite right, that perhaps you shouldn’t pursue someone or something, but your mind thought you should, because it sounded like a good opportunity, and so you ignored your body, only to find that months or years down the track, the inner feeling you initially had was trying to tell you something?
So how do we get out of this pattern of making decisions from the head rather than the heart? We slow down, we reflect, and we deeply feel what’s going on in our body. We notice the subtle sensations that arise when we contemplate a big decision and we act from that place—even if it sometimes goes completely against our justifications, expectations, and logical thought.
Our brain is constantly trying to protect us and keep us safe—rather than allowing us to embrace the unknown and feel vulnerable, it wants us to stay in familiar situations, even when they may be detrimental to our well-being. But we must move through this resistance and let the beauty of life guide us through feeling and listening.
Forming a relationship with something beyond ourselves and listening to its guidance is the greatest gift we can ever give to ourselves. We must let go of trying to control and surrender to our deep internal knowing—for it will never lead us astray.
Next time you find yourself needing to make a big decision, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Journal for a few days or weeks and connect with your heart. Don’t be afraid to listen, for this wisdom has a much bigger plan for you and knows what is for your highest good.
Trust that life has your back.