“Do not follow the path I say
for it does not exist
you cannot find enlightenment
contained within a list
do not follow leaders
they cannot set you free
and perhaps now most importantly
listen not to me.”
One of the primary concepts of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (a treatment modality I use) is “dialectics.” Dialectics refers to the concept that two seemingly contradictory ideas / emotions / thoughts can both be true or co-exist simultaneously.
So yes, of course, it is contradictory for a spiritual leader (or in my case, blogger) to tell you not to listen to us. But all leaders are human, and therefore fallible. Our beliefs about what will help you be happy and healthy may not always be applicable. You are different from every other person on the planet. You are the expert on you.
The successful therapy client is not necessarily someone who does everything the therapist recommends. (Which I often have to remind myself when my clients do not take my suggestions… sometimes I personalize this too much, and take offense). The successful client is someone who learns how to handle challenges confidently, in ways that are effective for them. Ideally, therapy is so helpful that clients don’t need it anymore. At least not for a few months, years, a decade… Anyway, that’s why our job – therapists and clients – is to help clients become their own guru.
And even if you don’t need therapy, all of this still applies. You must do what you believe is best for you. Doing what others think is best for you (whether to appease them or because you don’t feel confident in your own choices) is likely to stifle you and create more suffering.
If you are feeling indecisive, or pulled in different directions by different people, sit with yourself in stillness. Notice your breath, coming in and out. Notice what thoughts cross your mind, and do not judge them. Wait for an answer – your answer – to float to the surface of your mind. If no answer comes, try again later.
If you have a gut feeling about what to do, follow it. You don’t need to justify your choices to yourself or others (unless, of course, they are going to cause harm to someone. Not discomfort or annoyance, physical or emotional harm).
What do you think about today’s quote and post? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing your wisdom. Have a Mindful Monday.