In These Tumultuous Times, Your Feelings Can Help You Find Your Next Steps
Right now, during this challenging time on our planet, we need more than ever to learn to tune into our feelings so that we can know how to navigate the challenges with equanimity rather than with fear.
Sometimes there is confusion around trusting our feelings. Here's a question I recently received from a client:
"I have difficulty taking to heart the fact that our feelings are a trustworthy guide to act upon. I always understood that it is our thoughts that lead to our feelings and therefore 'we'—(the thoughts we think) are generating how we feel. Surely if this is the case, our feelings cannot be trusted since we potentially will have misguided and misperceived ideas and thoughts."
This woman's confusion is the result of not understanding what our feelings are telling us.
What our feelings can tell us.
Our feelings are an infallible source of guidance regarding a few different areas of our lives:
When we're not taking care of ourselves.
Our feelings of insecurity and lack—which come in various forms, such as anxiety, guilt, shame, aloneness, emptiness, envy, jealousy, resentment, and so on—are letting us know that our thoughts and actions are out of alignment with the truth and that we are abandoning ourselves in various ways. These feelings are letting us know that we need to attend to our emotional or physical self-abandonment.
We abandon ourselves when we define our worth externally, which leads to feelings of insecurity and a need to try to control others. These types of feelings are a signal that our thoughts and actions are coming from our ego-wounded self, which is programmed with the many false beliefs we absorbed as we were growing up about what makes us worthy. Our ego-wounded self has no access to any source of truth, and these kinds of feelings can serve as a signal that we are very off in what we're focusing our thoughts on.
When we're giving ourselves what we need.
Our feelings of peace, love, and joy are letting us know that we are taking loving care of ourselves. Our feelings are 100% trustworthy regarding whether we are operating from self-love or from self-abandonment.
External challenges and dangers.
Our existential painful feelings of life—such as loneliness, grief, heartbreak, helplessness over others and situations, fear of real and present danger, and sorrow—are letting us know that something is happening externally that needs our attention. They let us know if someone is being unloving or even dangerous. They are important expressions of loss. These feelings, also, are 100% trustworthy.
Using your feelings as a guide.
Our soul often communicates with us through our feelings. When you learn to stay present with your feelings, trusting the information your soul is giving to you, you experience a sense of personal power that enables you to manage the big challenges we are all facing.
Choosing to take compassionate responsibility for your own feelings—rather than judge them, ignore them, numb them, or make others responsible for them with controlling behavior—will develop the personal power you need right now to manage the stresses of life today and make the right next steps for you.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of nine books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? and her recently published book, Diet For Divine Connection. She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding.