If it feels right. . .

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I believe that on my list of life lessons, one of the most challenging is learning to trust myself.  It sounds silly to say it out loud, but I’m not talking about solely the ability to trust that I will get things done or a trust in myself to do the “right” thing according to my moral code; it’s about trusting that when I feel good about something or someone I need to trust that over what anyone else says, and conversely, if someone or something feels bad I need to trust that also.

I used to trust myself implicitly, and as a result, my life was easier than it has been recently.  Things ran according to my mental plan and rarely was I disappointed in my experiences.  I might choose to do something differently the next time I had the opportunity, but only because I wanted a different experience.  Why did I stop trusting myself?  Because I disconnected from my heart in order to “get things done.”  More on this later, but the short story is; life threw me some curve balls, and I had to become the primary income earner, primary caregiver for my kids and primary CEO (Chief Everything Officer) in my family, and I allowed a change in role to distract me from my intuition — the very thing I needed to stay in touch the most.

As a result of this “feelings blockade,” I’ve come to question my feelings, second guess my knowings and consequently, have a tougher road than I know I could have.  The awakening…this week was a tough one with my oldest teenager who is wrapping up her Junior year of high school.  Lots of end of year activities with a child who feels old enough and wise enough to be making every decision in her life.  Several things happened this week highlighting, again, what happens when I don’t follow my intuitive feelings.  But it all came to a head when my daughter was lobbying, again, to drive to the beach the morning after prom with her boyfriend.    Not lobbying hard, but stoically waiting for an answer as to why I was saying, “No” (I gave her plenty, by the way) or to just say, “Yes.”

Logical Reasoning

1)  You’re not an experienced driver and you have to do all of the driving

2)  The closest beach is 1 hour away and it’s yucky, all other beaches are 3+ hours each way.

3)  Because I’m the mom and I said, “No!” dammit!

This went on for about 45 minutes before she looked at me and said, “So, all I’m hearing you say is that if I go to the beach I’m as good as dead.”  Well, that wasn’t really what I was trying to get across, just that it was one option in a laundry list of reasons that I had — really good reasons, too!  But her comment stopped me in my tracks.  I was not adequately conveying my message nor was I reaching her with reasoning in spite of my well thought out offensive.  All I knew was that  since she first brought up the beach a week prior my heart was clenched.  I mean, buckled down, can’t breathe, rock in the place where my heart should be clenched.  I could think of a list of other things they could do that didn’t make me feel this way.

Through tear filled eyes I looked at her and said, “What have I taught you since you were little?”  She replied, “To follow my heart.”  I really welled up at that point and said, “Well, if I follow my heart I have to say, ‘No’ to the beach.  I cannot give you a reason that will make sense, all I can do is tell you it makes my heart hurt.”

With that, my very wise daughter looked at me and calmly said, “OK, we won’t go to the beach.”  I asked her why she was being so obstinate when I was giving her really great logical and parentally sound reasons why I didn’t want her going to beach?  She replied, “Because none of those felt like a reason to me.”

Interesting, I thought.  I have ignored my intuition far too many times in the past two years, all for making the “sound, right or most logical decision.”  Sometimes based on my own past experience, sometimes based on the experience of others, but in the end, none of those divergent paths felt right to me either.  Now I’m making some course corrections — when it feels right.

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About Teri Johnson

I have been a life coach and meditation teacher since 1999. More importantly, for me, I have had the pleasure of being a mom for 20 years. But what really defines me is my passion for living an authentic life. I have a friend who calls me "Buddhist with and edge." I'm not a practicing Buddhist, but it sums up my approach to life quite nicely. Thank you for stopping by and ENJOY!
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6 Responses to If it feels right. . .

  1. Mary Myers says:

    Welcome home, Teri. Back home to your beautiful heart and the beauty and truth it brings to your life and the lives of others.

  2. Wow. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to hear that you still use those words and, more importantly, how she understands them and values them. It is because of working for you that I started using this language with my own children and because of this post that I am going to continue to in the years to come. Thank you (for more than you realize).

  3. Teri Johnson says:

    Thank you, Maria! It has been amazing to me that I could sometimes hide from this truth, but thankfully, hide is the farthest away from truth we can get. And, please always know that I asked you to help me raise my children at a critical juncture because it felt right! (Remember, I decided you were who I wanted and the Universe seemed to agree 🙂 ) I knew that you would be able to help me create this proof point, and so many others, in their lives. Namaste.

  4. ktafoyaKaty says:

    Welcome back to your blog, Teri. It’s so lovely to hear your voice again. While you still might feel like you weren’t heard clearly, I love how your daughter did get that this whole thing wasn’t allowing you to follow your instincts and your heart. She did hear that. I’m sure she’ll have a great time either way. Just out of curiosity, would it change your heart if she went as a passenger with others instead of driving?

    • Teri Johnson says:

      What a great question, Katy! I honestly cannot answer since it’s hypothetical and therefore only answerable from a logical perspective — which would still be that the teens would have been too tired to drive 6 hours total after a sleepless night and hours in the sun. However, I did commit to Maggie that I would continue to assess the situation from a feeling place and if anything changed, I would let her know. And, you are correct, she forced me to trust that my instincts were enough. Funny enough, I found out after going through this that the other set of parents also did not want them going to the beach and a friend confessed that she had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach the minute she heard the beach was an option on the table. So glad I followed my heart.

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