May 1

rust yourself.
You know more
than you think
you do.

Benjamin Spock


Today's Meditation:

These are words that resonate very strongly within me because it took me such an incredibly long time to learn the truth behind them, and because it's a truth that I have such a hard time convincing others of, especially my students.  But if we could convince each person of the truth of this statement, can you imagine what kind of a world we would have?  Can you imagine how few people would commit silly acts and say silly things due to their insecurities or fears?

Because this is Dr. Spock speaking, there's a good chance that this quotation originally applied to parenting.  And that's okay, but it can also be applied to many, many other fields in which we function.  How many doctors have ended up prescribing the wrong treatment because they didn't trust themselves?  How many teachers have done things they normally wouldn't do because they didn't trust themselves?  I remember once allowing something to happen in a classroom even though my gut was telling me "stop this right now," and I did end up regretting it.  I should have trusted myself and my life experience and what it was telling me, but I simply didn't do so. 

You've been here on this planet a while.  You've learned things that other people never have learned, in ways that no one else has learned them.  You are truly unique, and you are intelligent and insightful.  You have overcome obstacles and you've weathered horrible storms. . . you have a vast wealth of knowledge and experience at your disposal, so why should you doubt yourself when it comes to making decisions?  The decisions that you make are ultimately and uniquely yours, and even if the immediate result isn't what you might like, hold on and be patient--the long-term results more than likely will show a different tale, as long as you've been true to yourself when making the decision.

Trust yourself.  Words to live by.  They don't exempt us from seeking advice, but they do empower us to live our lives on our terms, in our own unique ways, and they allow us to make decisions based on who we are and what we know, instead of constantly deferring to the "wisdom" of others.

Questions to consider:

Why do so few people truly trust themselves?

In what ways do you allow others to make decisions for you on important matters?  Why might you do that? 

What kinds of knowledge and experience are unique to you?  How did you learn these things?  How might you use them? 

For further thought:

One who doesn't trust oneself
can never truly trust anyone.

Cardinal de Retz

More on trust.


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