Monday’s Meditation: On Doing The Right Thing
Well-meaning people often advise you to “do the right thing.”
While their words may register as being technically correct, somehow they aren’t quite helpful.
“What does that even mean?” You want to ask. “How do I know what the right thing is?”
And then they nod and go “you’ll know.”
Meanwhile, you feel as confused and conflicted as ever.
The majority of the decisions we make daily are small ones. They are the nuanced choices that crop up constantly in personal and professional relationships, in questions of wellbeing, and so on. The decisions we confront daily aren’t usually matters of black and white morality: should I stab my coworker in the back (take that as literally as you choose). They’re options that vaguely involve both pros and cons, which can make deciphering the “right” one between them a difficult task.
But if we’re honest with ourselves, there is always a choice that, for myriad reasons, somehow sits better inside us. In my experience, this knowing often occurs naturally and immediately when any opportunity, prospect, invitation, or task is presented to us.
The venture either lights us up or it doesn’t. It scares us or it bores us. It gives energy to us or it takes energy from us.
The trouble is we’re often so quick to rush past that feeling into thought–into the realm of parsing out the logical benefits and drawbacks–that we don’t allow ourselves to Simply heed our internal knowings. We think we need to think things through because we mistakenly believe it can’t or shouldn’t be that easy. We understand our being naturally inclined to one choice as an indication that we ought then to give more consideration to the other. Why?
So much of our younger lives are about learning to follow instructions, to obey boundaries, and to flourish within the systems in which we’re enrolled–all of which are worthwhile lessons. Yet such training has a tendency to produce adults who are in the habit of making decisions based primarily out of fear, obligation and guilt.
We are long past those school days. There is no all-powerful “should;” no “have to.” There may be only now the freedom to be your best self, to live the life that feels most fulfilling and most true to you, and to serve the world on your terms.
Give yourself permission to obey your intuition, rather than be mired in the complications of self-invented insecurities.
That intuition will almost always guide you right if you will let it. And what is right, after all? Right things are ones that feel:
– Loving (to yourself first and then to others)
– And of course, Simple
Be honest with yourself. Somewhere inside you, it either feels right (exciting / natural / intriguing/ healthy / balanced / loving / Simple) or it feels forced (fear / obligation / guilt).
Do what feels the most right right now and, with what little information of the future you possess, feels most like the action you’ll be proud of years from now.
Do that and you can’t go wrong.
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