In my recent My Listening Project blogs and YouTube vlogs I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about being your own best listener—being able to readily access that inner, Divine part of yourself to guide and support you on your life journey.
It sounds so simple, really. What could be hard about looking within and using our uniquely, innate intelligence to support choices that impact us on a daily basis? Choices that influence if we feel our lives are filled with meaning and purpose versus feeling disconnected from ourselves and others.
Consider this line of logic to see how much you could agree with the following statements:
Life is challenging;
I need all the help I can get while here on earth;
There is a Higher Power (God, Divine, Spirit, Christ, Allah, Universal Force) who is running the show and is very much a part of who I am.
It would be a good thing if I were able to tap into that inner, spiritual, pure side of myself to receive guidance, rather than strictly relying on others or on my everyday human self (filled with ego needs, insecurities, fear, anger, pain, loss, etc.) to assume control for making my daily decisions on how I live my life.
If you’re relatively comfortable with the previous statements, then you might want to check in with yourself—to get a picture of the “as is” state of how you conduct yourself on a day to day basis versus who you really are.
You can begin by drawing two stick figures on a page, one labeled the Everyday Me, the other labeled the Real Me. Under the Everyday Me list the qualities and behaviors you exhibit on a daily basis—the good, the bad and the ugly.
Do so as if you were observing another person moving through their day, without judgement. Perhaps you witness that along with the “good”, you are frequently tempermental, judgemental, harsh, or frazzled. Get it all down—this isn’t meant to be a shaming exercise.
Under the stick figure labeled the Real Me, try to put yourself in a quiet place and sincerely ask what are the qualities that define this part of you—the truly special, pure Divine qualities that are wired into the very essence of your being. Please know that if words like ugly, shame, stupid, stubborn, or cruel come to mind you haven’t hit the real treasure yet; keep digging because so far all you’ve hit is human garbage.
This exercise requires time and practice. It’s like being with a group of friends, family, or co-workers who don’t really listen to a thing you have to say—in fact could care less. Even though you know you are brilliant, you train yourself not to have an opinion, what’s the point if your voice goes unheard.
So when someone eventually does ask you a question, you’re sort of stunned and speechless because it was so unexpected. Before you speak, you want to make sure the person is serious—that they really do recognize, value, an honor your wisdom.
Posing a question to one’s inner self can be sort of like that. If you haven’t had much experience, it may take a while before anything comes through. Allowing rather than forcing is critical. What comes to you comes.
And keep in mind, these are the really special, unique qualities. Depending on your life experiences, you may have to reach back to the earliest part of childhood to remember.
Once you are able to identify at least a couple qualities of the Real Me (the more desire and patience you have in listening, the more likely the list will grow), step back and compare your lists and take a look at what you see, asking yourself:
As of this point in time, how big is the gap between the qualities of the Everyday Me and the Real Me? How well am I able to access that inner part of myself?
If you’re like me, a lot of times the response is, “I’ve got some work to do.” But I give myself credit. “I’ve come a long way, baby.”
There was a time in my younger adult life when I distinctly remember standing in my parents’ driveway talking with my Dad. I had made a personal life choice and my Dad was cautioning me about the consequences of that decision. Not in a moralistic way (he was too smart for that) but rather in a straight forward, factual way. He simply stated without emotion that, “Chris, you just aren’t wired that way.”
The gist of his message was that if I went forward with this choice, I was going to have to deal with feeling the discrepancy of behaving in ways that went against the essence of who I was as a person—that Divine Real Me.
The man spoke the truth! No way, no how was my life choice the right one. But I was too angry and frightened to see differently. My protective ego had established the course and I was on my way.
I eventually came around to viewing things from my father’s perspective, not because of fearing my Dad’s loss of love, but because I wasn’t comfortable with my choice. I just didn’t feel right.
In those days, I wasn’t thinking about accessing my Divine self to live an authentic life where inner and outer was in sync. But the experience had such a jarring effect on my sense of being that I vowed then and there to never get so out of alignment that I lost track of The Real Me.
What a valuable lesson! I’ve kept my vow and the good news is that over the years I’ve spent a lot of time and effort getting to know the Real Me. This is the part of myself that has a direct line to my Divine source where the well never runs dry. I can’t begin to tell you how good that feels.
I still make mistakes, lots of them—that’s part of the human experience. But because I’m willing and able to maintain a loving and ongoing relationship with Spirit, I catch those errors in judgement sooner. I am far less likely at this point in my life to not only lose sight of, but ignore and negate this Divine part of myself.
But I frequently need a “tune up” and that tune up means posing questions to that inner part of myself followed by a healthy dialogue. The more I engage, the more the sharing flows. Hard to believe that a conversation with oneself can be such a game changer in life.