It is amazing how much we ignore ourselves.
I've been reading The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, and listening to ourselves is one of the things he brings up when reading a decision for being wrong or right (he also brings up being nonjudgmental... so I'm still muddling through how to determine a decision is wrong or right while maintaining a state of nonjudgment. If you know, please help me through this).
Our bodies manifest our decisions. My guts (the technical term) start to churn and hurt when I'm making a decision I know doesn't jive with me. I've had a vice grip wrapped around my chest for the last two months as I muddle through decisions about work and school. When I hit on the right decision for me, I can feel these tell- tale signs ease off, giving me a little space to breathe and relax. As soon as I tell myself the right decision can't happen, because of this factor or that person needing me, I feel everything tighten up again.
What happens when we ignore those signs? I can only live with an ill-fitting decision for so long. I start lashing out at the wrong people, I lose my ability to be patient with others, and I can't decipher between an overarching sense of malaise or if a situation calls for wariness. In other words, my intuition gets totally borked up. It makes perfect sense. When I don't listen to myself, I can't interpret my voice when I need it the most.
The funny thing about decisions is we often assign them a sort of permanence that isn't always real. Very rarely is a situation absolutely unchangeable, and as humans (specifically homo sapiens), changes fuel our creativity, our adaptability, and our chance at thriving. When I make a decision, why do I often assign it this permanence? I like to think it is my sense of responsibility. I've said I would do something, so I will see this through. Instead of freaking out that this decision is going to haunt me forever, I can acknowledge it, and then make moves to alter it or accept it.
So the real goal: start listening to my instinct. Stop giving my time and energy to things that exhaust me, and make me feel tense and used up. If I do accidentally allow this to happen, I will ask myself this quesiton: can I accept the consequences of my decision? If not, what can I do to change it?
I'm pretty certain we don't need to get overly stuck on a decision or two. Today I'm going to focus on appreciating the grace in my life. There is a lot of it, and I'm not going to let a few wrong turns make me lose sight of the bigger stuff. I don't like myself much when I do that. Instead, I'm going to remember when I clean out the junk in my life, I'm opening up space for something even better.