Experience is not what happens to a man.
It is what a man does with what happens to him.
— Aldous Huxley
What if the only resolution you made this year was to love and listen to yourself more?
From the time when we were little children, we have been trained to look outside ourselves for answers—to our parents and in the world around us. We can train ourselves to look within. This inner strength often is reached only in times of crisis. Then we realize that we can, of ourselves, do nothing except turn over our problems to a higher power. As long as we are trying to find solutions with our own strength, determination, and intelligence, we are not successful on a permanent basis.
So we repeat our mistakes over and over in new ways.
Finding our inner strength is quite simple in terms of how to do it, but it “seems” to take great effort to do it constantly. To find our inner strength, we must first listen to our inner voice. And to reach our inner voice, we must give up our attempts to solve problems with our own conscious, intellectual, busy minds. We need to give up the belief that we know what has to be done. We must be open to all possibilities, and we must resort to the strength and wisdom deep within us.
The process of inner listening is not mystical, magical, or even difficult; although to the uninitiated, it may seem that way. There is tremendous spiritual power within us. It gives us strength, vision, success, and peace. We all use this power to some degree—and no one can totally lose it, but few realize its full potential. This power is reached in a most unusual way by “going inside” ourselves. Many have searched for it in countless ways, but few have found it because it is hidden where most never look, “inside.”
There are three steps to finding your inner voice:
The First step is to realize that we cannot solve or even identify our problems with our “worldly mind”—the conscious mind that we often identify as being us.
Second, we must know that we have the power within us to solve our problems, and that we can strengthen this belief to the point where we are willing to let go of all our worldly efforts to find a solution and be guided only by our “inner voice.” This “listening” may take the form of sensing, paying attention, or intuition ... and having little to do with listening from our physical ears. Notice repetitious signs and your inner guidance, as this can yield valuable information. Anytime you hear something three or four times, especially within a short amount of time, it’s information worthy of your attention.
And Thirdly, we must have the courage to take the final step: Do it.
We must calm our conscious mind of all its busy worry, all its attempts to find the solution, and go deep within us—beyond the noise—to the quiet and peace that is always within us.
For example, this can take the form of meditation, and we can use all types of tools such as being in a quiet place, assuming certain bodily positions, or utilizing special items like incense and candles.
But these forms and tools are not really necessary. We need to reach the calm and peace within us, giving up our conscious efforts, only for an instant. A trained mind can do this in any situation in the blink of an eye, and our minds become trained by our willingness to turn inside on every possible occasion.
We recognize that we are successful when we feel a sense of peace and power coming over us. We are now in contact with our inner guide. We begin to realize that we are taken care of in all things, and that we will be told if and when actions are necessary. Our purpose for attaining this sense of peace is not to be told to do something, but to realize that we are safe, cared for, and at peace. We are in touch with our spiritual strength—the power of all creation, the order of all things—the principal that governs in peace and harmony.
When we know this, a problem no longer exists. We realize that the “problem” is not a problem, and that we can proceed in strength, confidence, and peace. If something needs to be done by us, our inner voice will tell us what to do. If we need something, the universe will send it to us. Now we can proceed calmly. We need not hurry, search, or change things. We can step back and be guided and cared for.
You could ask yourself questions like...
• What story (or stories) do I need to stop telling myself?
• Who do I need to forgive once and for all?
• What do I need to release from my life in order to feel free?
• What behaviors or habits would I like to change?
• What behavior or habits am I willing to accept and embrace?
• What new adventures do I want to experience?
• What could I do to support my spiritual growth in greater ways?
Here’s to becoming an upgraded version of ourselves,
With love this Valentine’s Day and beyond,
Linda Noble Topf is dedicated to assisting others in seeing that chronic illness, debilitating injury, or any kind of adversity in any stage of life, can be viewed as a spiritual awakening, and an opportunity for personal growth.