“My question is pertaining to knowing one’s true self and truth. How do we know we are making the right decisions and being true to ourselves and not just making a wrong, selfish decision? God is telling us things all the time, but how do I know which voice It is? The one that says “be true to yourself and go for what you are feeling right now ( this feeling overwhelms me)” or the one that says “are you sure you want to do this, the grass may not be greener on the other side, and people will get hurt in the process?” Its like a battle. How do I know the right way to go? Which voice is right?” M.
How do we know? Through practice, practice, practice, practice and more practice. Life is not just a process of learning what God wants of us. It is a process of learning about our own self, in addition to common sense, understanding, and wisdom (eventually), and even with all this, learning that mistakes can be learning opportunities, also.
Think of this process, even this life as a “school-like” opportunity, not a tight-rope that one has to get perfect or else lose everything. This is why Christ is recognized as a teacher rather than a judge, jury and executioner. He is a gentle yet persistent teacher.
Our life is more like a school that gives us many, many opportunities to learn about how to live our lives with love from our hearts and what we’ve learned in our minds.
Some advice I encourage is:
- Continue to practice having an open mind and an open heart. God can fill both of these.
- Continue to practice the Fruits of the Spirit – like kindness, patience, mercy, forgiveness and more. God comes into this world in those moments that these are expressed.
- When praying and meditating, pray for sincerity in one’s prayers.
- And another: it helps to regularly ask ourselves, “Am I willing to learn, to love, to live, and to practice? Am I willing?”
“If you can’t decide between the left hand choice and the right hand choice, then throw them both out and pick from the third hand.” The Rainbow Cards, ©, 1993, Jodie Senkyrik
Yes,absolutely,if we keep and continue to live with humility and compassion , by this way, we will find our true self. When we have a big decision to take and we are not sure…before to go to sleep, pray and ask for help.Often, the next morning you know what to to do. I know this, by experience.
I would like to wish to you Jodie. and your family. and to all of your subscribers. an happy and peacefull New Year.
M’s question is very relevant for all of us. Thank you Jodie for dedicating an article to it.
In Buddhism, your true self is your Buddha-nature. The more still, calm and tranquil your heart is, the more wisdom shines forth. The more of the Buddha’s compassionate blessings become accepted by you.
Thus, the Buddha taught that Sila (virtue) gives rise to Samadhi (right mindfulness and stillness of heart) which then gives rise to Prajna (wisdom and Enlightenment).
Nowadays, our minds are often confused and full of wandering thoughts, anxieties and competing options. These defilements born from attachment, aversion and delusion keeps our minds clouded. Thus, our true wisdom is blocked by these veils.
Therefore, to know what to do and which voice is right, we must first rectify our behavior and cultivate our virtue. For instance, we must strictly abide by the five precepts at all times:
1) No killing (includes respecting animal and insect life etc.)
2.) No Stealing (includes refraining from abusive, greedy, exploitative and unfair practices)
3.) No False Speech (includes refraining from harsh or profane words).
4.) No Lust (i.e. refraining from promiscuity, excessive luxury or adultery…)
5.) No Intoxication (i.e. refraining from drugs and alcohol,includes being disciplined and fulfilling your duties of filial piety).
Moreover, we must also practice generosity and charitable giving.
By cultivating the precepts and exercising forbearance to ensure that we never breach them, we will accumulate merit and our hearts will become tranquil.
Virtue causes the malign influence of greed, hatreds, delusion and anxieties to recede, leaving us with more wisdom, more certainty and less confusion.
Recommend Reading: Liao Fan’s Four Lessons