RD&T contributing author Sharon Pope asks readers if they are really listening, especially to themselves.
Never apologize for trusting your intuition – your brain can play tricks, your heart can blind, but your gut is always right. – Rachel Wolchin
My client, Sue, had a long talk with her husband. He blamed her for not being able to commit to him. He blamed her for not saying I love you often enough. He blamed her for his feelings of loneliness and insecurity. And she believed it was true. She started to blame herself and feel like maybe she was the problem in their marriage.
Sue is listening to her husband more than she’s listening to her own inner guidance.
My client, Terry, broke up with her long-term boyfriend who cheated on her by getting back together with his old girlfriend. He told her it was her fault that he went back to his ex because she wasn’t giving enough in the relationship. Now she’s thinking and re-thinking all the ways she could have tried harder to make it work. And she’s obsessing about how he and his new girlfriend are together and happy and she’s alone.
Terry is listening to a cheating ex more than reaching for her own inner wisdom.
I will tell you – even in my own life and business – I have hired people who are experts in their field and listened to them and what they tell me to do with my coaching business… when I knew my gut was telling me to do otherwise.
Ignoring our gut never works out well.
When someone is telling you something about you – they’re actually saying more about themselves than they are about you. They’re telling you their fears, their insecurities, the pain they’re carrying. It’s just their opinion, their perspective. You don’t have to pick-up that opinion and make it your own. You don’t have to carry it with you. You are allowed to have a different perspective.
When they’re blaming or criticizing you for how they feel, they’re offloading their happiness onto you to take responsibility for it… but that’s not your job. Your job in this life is not to make someone else happy. And what makes one person happy may be entirely different than what makes you happy, so how exactly are you supposed to do that for this other person?
When someone is blaming you for their bad behavior, they’re being manipulative by diverting your attention so that they don’t actually have to face and answer for that behavior. You don’t have to carry the weight of that and take responsibility for their choices. You only have to take responsibility for your choices.
When we allow other people’s voices – even those we love and care about – to be louder than our own voice, we cannot hear what’s true for ourselves.
There are lots of voices telling us what to do and how to feel on any given day: your boss, your mother, your significant other, your girlfriends, even the people you perceive to be experts. But what is your inner wisdom telling you? And are you listening?