Looking Within To Find Your Spiritual Direction
Growing up, most of us were told to pay attention, some of us (ahem) probably more than others. What our parents, teachers, relatives or others meant was to pay attention to what we were being told. But no one ever told me to pay attention to myself by listening to the voice inside of me. Don’t get me wrong, listening to others can be fine, because we can learn a lot from their experiences, however nothing beats the little voice when we want information unique to us.
I never knew the voice inside of me even mattered. For a long time I just thought it was my imagination working overtime. I began to realize however, that the messages I was receiving were almost always right. That’s when I started to understand there might be more to it than just imagination and there were more ways to get information than just externally.
To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, Peaceful Warrior, “ I want you to stop gathering information from outside yourself and start gathering it from the inside. It’s the only way people can find the real answers they are looking for.”
I believe the real answers in our lives are found by looking inside of ourselves. The mind is great for the everyday, mundane things. Does the yard need mowing? Do I need to go to the grocery store? But if you want to know why you’re here on earth, or why you’re stopped in some area of your life, the mind can’t help you. Because what’s in your mind has been put there by you or others, (parents, teachers, relatives, television, etc.) and that never seems to include deeper spiritual meaning that is unique to you. To find answers that no one else has for you, you have to look to your heart, the inner voice.
What is the inner voice? Have you ever had a strong feeling about something? A premonition? A little voice, if you will, telling you to do or not to do something. How often has it turned out to be right? Following that voice is following your heart and sometimes it’s in opposition to what your mind is telling you to do.
Sometimes the little voice can be an unconscious action. Have you ever driven to the store and upon arrival, not been able to remember the trip? It’s as if someone else was driving and you were along for the ride. How often in our lives does something like this happen on an even more subtle level? How many times can you look back at a situation where you might have said, “I don’t know why I did that, I just don’t know what I was thinking.”
A friend shared the following story with me about one of his experiences with this type of connection. It happened a number of years ago at his mother’s funeral. He was standing next to the casket with his sister at his side when he suddenly felt the urge to reach over and pull on his sister’s hair. He told me he had never done that before, ever. She was shocked and looked at him as if he had lost his mind. When she asked why he had done that, he replied, “I don’t know, I just suddenly got the urge to do it.” Just as suddenly she remembered something her mother had told her many years before and that was whenever she passes away, she would let her know she was all right by pulling on her hair.
Most of us can point to times in our past when we really felt strongly to do or not do something based solely on our feelings. Speaking for myself, I have always been happier when I paid attention to that inner voice. When I talk with others about these types of feelings, I hear pretty much the same thing from everyone. That is, that little voice is usually right. I have a friend that told me he always used to listen to that voice, but somewhere along the line got away from it. Coincidentally, he added, “That’s about the time I got off track in my life.”
Everyone on this planet is on his or her own spiritual journey. Some want answers and some don’t. Some people don’t think they can get answers to life’s questions or that we as humans are not allowed to have those answers. I don’t agree, but it’s fine either way, because whatever someone believes is fine and perfect for that individual.