We trust that who we seek guidance from, be it counselor, therapist, guru, teacher, parent, friend or life coach, is professional, qualified and capable of aiding us. How do we know if our guide is really helping?
I have sought assistance from family members who are professional counselors, therapists, psychologists, and even lawyers. Additionally, I have seen a host of professionals outside of family, from my teens to well into my 30’s! I am an advocate for guidance, however with a caveat. Do you trust your guide over yourself?
Do you find that every decision has to be deliberated between you and them? Are they always on your side? Do they tell you that your parents, family, partner, friends, place of work or the world around you are the problem? Are you paralyzed between sessions? If you answered YES to any of these questions, please THINK and ask yourself, “How’s that working?”
A proper guide provides valuable, objective tools and skills to help navigate life. Primarily, therapists are trained to provide a safe space to be heard and help process past experiences in order to move forward. A life coach is supposed to do just that: coach you how to live the best life according to your nature, personality traits, and goals. Both are employed to help you help yourself. Neither are to be dependent upon. Dependence on anyone or anything external is an addiction!
Outside aid may be necessary. Talking about issues is not wrong. Being heard is not wrong. We must learn to trust ourselves. Otherwise, we are putting our life in the hands of another. This is dangerous. As an example, after my divorce, I feared getting involved with someone who was unhealthy for me. Although my counselor gave me great advice, to trust myself, she was unable to educate me on HOW. Nobody could… This was the problem!
I finally cracked the code on why I needed help. My ability to think clearly and objectively was undeveloped. Every week I was on edge awaiting the next session. I did not know how to function without that appointment. I relied upon a therapist to define my issues and tell me what to do. When we do not know the problem, it does not matter what anyone says. Do you want to be bound by your advisor? I don’t.
My weak intellect, voice of reason, allowed every emotion, whim, fancy and impulse to get the better of me. My mind was continually wavering from past to future so that I could hardly be present. I experienced anxiety, worry, fear, depression, negativity, sleeplessness, health issues, made poor decisions and became entangled in destructive relationships. Can you relate?
The introduction of Vedanta philosophy helped me discover my true construct. I learned how to develop my intellect to make the right decisions. As another case in point, If I had asked anyone about dating a man twelve years younger, the answer would have been a resounding NO! I married that man. And, that was the best decision I have ever made. I found an incredible life partner on my own! How can anyone else truly know who is right for any other person than themselves? They may have a valid opinion but their job is to aid us in our decision making. When we have strengthened our inside counsel we do not need external counseling.
The following provides a good starting point for building our inner counsel:
Take time to reflect and think through someone’s suggestions. If those do not line up with reason and logic, avoid that situation. If a recommendation aligns, then take up that action and apply it.
Any beliefs or teachings should likewise be reflected and thought upon. Have you truly evaluated your beliefs and rituals?
Reflect on higher time-tested and true knowledge first thing in the morning (between 5 and 6am if possible)! Let your intellect resonate on higher thoughts and values each and every day. This will help keep our mind in check.
Borrow an intellect. This will be extremely challenging since most people have not worked to develop theirs. However, the good news is that another person may be more objective about your life than their own! Find someone unbiased, who makes sound choices and has their life together. If it is a struggle to make a decision, run it by them. DO NOT JUST ACCEPT THEIR DECISION! Listen, reflect and decide for yourself!
If we don’t trust ourselves enough to progress in life, we need outside guidance. It takes time to develop intellect. In the interim, seek out someone who is qualified to help. However, use caution to ensure you are helping yourself!
If you want to know more, check out our EnSoul Yoga classes, Vedanta study groups and most importantly our Life and Teacher Training program.