I'm sitting here thinking of all the things I had planned to do today. Volunteer at the humane society. Stop by the grocery store on the way home. Then stop at the pet store after that. It's what I typically do today (a Friday). But I can't shake the feeling that I don't want to do this stuff today. I don't know why. I just know that I have a strong feeling that I do not want to go. For me, that strong feeling often expresses itself in the form of tears. Yes, I cried because I didn't want to do what I had planned to do today. Like a child. But I also accept that that's my spirit's best and most clear way to reach me. A little doubt, I can ignore. Not really wanting to do something. Big deal, do it anyway. But when the tears come. I know I need to listen.
I started thinking how I should be doing these other things. I need to go to the store. I'm supposed to be at the shelter. Then the thought struck me, "What if I don't?"
Seriously. What if I don't go to the store today? Will I starve? No. But I won't have the fruits and veggies I need for my morning juice (I say to myself). So what! What if I don't make my juice tomorrow morning? I have other, perfectly healthy, things to eat for breakfast for one day.
What if I don't go to the pet store today? Do I have enough food for my cats and dogs to last another day? Yes.
What if I don't go to the animal shelter today? Will the dogs still get walked and played with? Yes. There are other volunteers there that do a great job.
So I gave myself permission to stay home and do what I feel I need to do today.
We can make all the plans we want. We can have the best intentions behind them. But we also need to keep an ear open for our spirit. It may have other plans for us. And the kindest thing we can do, for ourselves and others, is to listen to ourselves and respect ourselves enough to follow through with what our spirit tells us.
This happened another time in my life too, on a bigger scale. I had planned to take a week-long road trip one spring break in college. I had planned to go alone, and drive from Indiana (where I live) to Texas, stopping at whatever interested me along the way. I had already packed. I was going to take my dogs with me and stay in dog-friendly hotels. I had driven from my college apartment to my grandma's house, where I would spend the night and depart from there in the morning.
But that night I got a strong feeling that I did not want to go on this trip.
I had been planning it for weeks. I had been eagerly anticipating it. A week of freedom. A week to explore.
And the night before I was to leave, I decided not to go.
Who's to say anything bad would have happened had I gone on the road trip? But who's to say it wouldn't? I will never know. But I am thankful that I listened to myself.
Sometimes it takes courage to not do something you planned. Granted, not going to the store today didn't take a whole heck of a lot of courage. But the courage lies in listening to yourself. You must listen to yourself above all others. You know you best. Shut out their voices and get in tune with your own. Get in tune with the Universe and all the love that is out there!
I have another, more serious example. My sister was engaged. To a wonderful guy. They were a great match, perfect, some would say. They were planning a wedding. Or rather, he was trying to plan it and she was dragging her feet. Why? She wasn't sure. Just that something didn't feel right. I talked with her several times about this. She asked the question, "What if I don't get married to this guy?" What if I don't? People will be disappointed. So what, they'll get over it. He'll be heartbroken. Sure, but he, too, will get over it and move on. I might not find anyone else that's as good of a guy as he is. Yes, you will, if it's in your heart and that's genuinely what you want for yourself and your life.
We talked for hours. My sister knew what she needed to do, but it's hard. It's not deciding, "Do I go to the store or not," it's "Do I get married or not?"
I'm proud to say they broke it off. They separated. She gave the ring back and moved out. And you know what? She's much happier! She told me after she no longer wore the ring, "I feel FREE!"
That's how we should feel all the time! Free! Free to be ourselves, free to follow our hearts, free to listen to our spirits.
The next time you're feeling pressure to do something, and have that sinking feeling that you just don't want to do it, ask yourself, "What if I don't?" You'll probably find that the answer to that question isn't so bad. It's much better to listen to that inner voice, and face the consequences, whatever they may be, than to squash or ignore that voice and deny your spirit. That would have much more heartbreaking consequences.
I'd love to hear how you listened to your inner voice. When did you ask yourself the question, "What if I don't," and what became of it? You can leave your comments below. Thanks!
Peace, love, and joy!
Quotes of the Day:
Whenever something doesn't work out the way you thought it would, instead of thinking that something went wrong, see it as something that went unexpectedly well, but for reasons that are not yet apparent.
Everything plays to your favor. Score!