We all long for guidance.
Often, as we struggle with indecision about major life decisions – or even very minor ones – we wish fervently for the inner guide who could tell us exactly what to do. We long for that 100% certainty, that deep inner knowing, that understands without question the right decision to make.
In the absence of that kind of certainty, we may wonder why guidance seems to have abandoned us. We make the best decisions we can, but then we often find that our lives have not been enhanced as we had hoped. We may start to doubt that we even have any inner guidance, and in our desperation, we turn to those outside us, to those who are the authorities and experts, and look to them for help. We take their advice, but then find that it often isn’t attuned to our individual circumstances, and that in the process, we have come to doubt our own inner guidance even more.
The fact that we so often long for guidance, and so frequently try to find it, shows that this desire is deeply rooted in our souls. When we lose touch with our inner guidance, we miss it deeply. The problem is that we usually have no idea how to find our lost guidance. And the tragedy is that we don’t know that it is actually hiding in plain sight.
The inner critic hides true guidance
What hides our guidance is our inner critic.
This may come as a shock, since most of us are pretty sick of our inner critic, especially when its gaze turns inwards and it starts to tell us how bad and worthless we are. It’s hard to imagine that the critic is actually trying to help and guide when it hurts and wounds us so often.
So the first challenge is to embrace the possibility that the critic is actually trying to help us as best it can, even if the opposite seems true. We need to stop rejecting it, and instead, approach it with curiosity and the desire to get to know its deeper nature. What is it that’s underneath that stern, finger-wagging exterior?
We’ve generally been so rejecting of the critic that it’s hard to imagine that it could actually have a good side, but that is exactly what we discover when we really get to know it. When we ask the question, how are you trying to serve me, the critic invariably tells us that it is trying to guide us out of trouble. It’s constantly trying to make sure that we don’t do something, bad, wrong or socially unacceptable. It’s trying to ensure our survival by making certain we are never cast out of our family, friendship circle or community for breaking the social rules.
As we see how hard the critic has been working on our behalf, we start to see it in a new light. Instead of rejection, we feel gratitude for its ever-faithful service. This gratitude, which is a form of love, starts to melt the critic. Now that it has been truly acknowledged, appreciated and loved, something magical starts to happen. Love creates the holding for a profound healing as the critic transforms into its original nature, which is Essential Guidance.
Guidance brings us home
It’s easy to miss our Guidance because we expect it to show up much more dramatically than it does. We imagine that it will be like a kind parent or an angel or guide who says “Do this – do that”. But it is not interested in telling us what to do about the practical concerns of our lives. If we ask for guidance about which job to take so we will have more money, it probably won’t respond. But if we ask which job will provide greater opportunities to grow, it will do everything it can to guide us with that decision.
We discover that Guidance is a dynamic, intelligent force, devoted to unfolding our soul in the most optimal way so that we can move closer and closer to who we truly are.
It doesn’t tell us what to do next year, but it does guide us in this moment, and the next and the next, step by step. It does this by directing our attention and curiosity to the part of ourselves that we most need to understand. As we do that, insight and meaning arises, and then Guidance shows us again where to look. As we are gently guided from depth to depth, we find that Guidance is the form that Being has taken to draw us back to Herself. Guidance is the wisdom that brings us Home.
… Guidance is one of Being’s greatest gifts to the human soul. When it descends into our consciousness, this living presence gives us access to the magnificent depth and richness of the spiritual life. It guides our journey of inner awakening. It reveals to us the true meaning of our experience. It aligns us with our potential for Clarity, Peace, Joy, and all the essential qualities of Being. And as we integrate this wisdom of the … Guidance, we come to understand that our true home in the larger unfolding of all creation. – A.H.Almaas, Spacecruiser Inquiry, p.235.
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