What does it mean to “follow your own path?” It’s one of those bits-o-wisdom you’d find on a mug in a gift shop; but rarely do we take a sec to explore what that entails. Like, “Ok, cool, bruh. But how do I find my own path? How do I know it’s the right path?”
Okay, don’t punch me but… to know the right from wrong path, you will need to –– gulp –– listen to and trust yourself.
Surprise! You have instincts out the wazoo, Hun Buns, but ya don’t trust ’em!
A lot of us believe our instincts suck; we assume they’re frivolous, impulsive, and immature. Instead of trusting our instincts, we run them through our handy dandy *ding* “logic” filter. Logic is fear disguised as responsibility. We believe growing up requires an abandonment of one’s intrinsic nature. However, it could be argued that meaningful maturation involves finding a way to integrate our childlike curiosity with the wisdom acquired from life’s experiences. Then, using it all to create a life you deeply enjoy.
When we use fear to make our decisions, we will inevitably experience more resistance along the way; it’s not the path that’s meant for us.
How I Learned To Trust Myself
My late-husband and I used to run a videography and photography business. There were a few times where I had an uneasy feeling about working with a certain client, but we needed the money sooner than later.
Before I continue, I’d like to acknowledge my privilege. I can’t tell someone working 2+ jobs, supporting their 2+ kids that money is not important or necessary to live. That would be incredibly tone deaf and disrespectful to people whose lives I know nothing about. What I hope to inspire with this piece is simply that you may one day believe you can make decisions, trusting that what is meant for you will find its way to you. What isn’t meant for you will pass you by. You can breathe more easily when you know and trust that when one door closes, another opportunity opens (even if it isn’t obvious).
Maybe I knew what I needed more than anyone else.
Ok, back to the story…
When we worked with folks de poopoo, for whom I did not care, there would arise the inevitable conflict. The client would try to pay less than my rates, be excessively demanding, devalue our work, or ask us to do additional work for free, push boundaries, etc. It became a pattern. Every time it happened, I wondered if all the trouble was worth it? Would my energy be better spent elsewhere? I felt in my gut this wasn’t right. Still, I pressed forward.
My husband was the level-headed one of us, so I relied on him heavily to make decisions. I was terrified of making the wrong decisions and potentially hitting a point of no return. I was always unsure of myself; everything I thought or did was must be wrong, I thought. So I trusted him to make the right decisions for us. After agreeing to work with many poopy clients, I began to think, “maybe he doesn’t always make good decisions.” Maybe I knew what I needed more than anyone else.
What Started to Change
When I stopped agreeing to things I didn’t want to do, lo and behold other opportunities started to pop up. My life and its wisdom started to click and then things started to flow more easily. The next steps sort of revealed themselves but that only happened when I listened to my inner guidance and trusted that inner guidance to take me where I was meant to be.
When I listened to my inner guidance, I actually knew what was right for me. It was okay if my husband didn’t like it or agree, he didn’t know what was best for me. He couldn’t see the possibilities and alternatives I saw; he didn’t have the same hope and trust that things would work out. The more power I placed in the hands of him (or anyone else), the more I betrayed myself –– the further away I drifted from trusting myself.
Whatever your instinct may be, your journey inevitably will be challenging, overwhelming, and stressful; it will require sacrifice. Yet, there will be a great reward for making it through the difficult times. You will know you’re going in the right direction when things begin to happen more easily, instead of trying to swim upstream all the time. You will feel better, happier, you’ll feel GOOD!
Trust that you will always survive, even when there appears to be no end in sight. Whether you’re aware of them or not, you always have options; including the option to believe that one day you might actually believe what I’m writing! (lol) Remind yourself that you can trust and rely on yourself. While pain and suffering can feel endless; truly, nothing lasts forever, my snugglebunny. You will not have to face the same challenges with the same set of tools you once had. You’ll have more experience. You’ll be wiser.