Q3: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
I am planning a big move out of my city this summer to a town 3.5 hours away. I will be leaving me 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. It's an attempt to start anew, get a refresh in life and in my relationship that's very difficult. I want to know if this move is going to be a success or a disaster waiting to happen. I am wondering if after the sale of our home if l should just walk away and start anew solo. Thank you so much for your insight.
Although the details may change, we all face decisions that push us to ask: “Will this work or will it be a disaster?” Another version of this same question is often, “Am I doing the ‘right’ thing?”
Underneath these questions is the very human desire for certainty when moving through uncertain situations. We want guarantees when there are none.
Determining what the “right” thing to do really depends on your criteria, values and priorities. It can also depend on your relationship with your inner knowing, or what I refer to as your Wise One Within, and how willing you are to listen to Her still, wise voice. Sometimes we hear Her in the back of our minds, sometimes it’s a sense we feel in our hearts, sometimes it’s a gut-level response we have to something, and sometimes it’s as simple as a deep “knowing”. Her wisdom can come through in a wide variety of forms, and although there are similarities in how She communicates, our connection with Her is as unique to us as any other relationship in our lives.
If we are not choosing to find ways to get to know our own Wise One Within, and work to determine our own criteria to guide our lives, we are allowing others to create our lives for us. The upside of taking others’ advice over our own is that, if things don’t work out well for us, we can blame them. We get to play victim and avoid personal responsibility.
The Truth Behind The Question
By making our life choices based on what others think we should do, what we’re really saying is one of two things (or both):
1. “I don’t know myself well enough to know what I want and I’m unwilling to do the self-exploration to find out.”
Maybe we don’t know how, maybe we don’t realize we have the option, maybe we’re too afraid of what we’ll discover, or maybe it’s a different reason, but the end result is the same: we’d rather do what others tell us than get to know ourselves.
2. “I’m afraid of what might happen if I honor my truth, so I avoid it by giving up my personal power and letting others decide for me. I prefer to go-along-to-get-along.”
Our survival instincts are strong. Being part of a group – be it family, friends or community – is primal. The challenge is that our brain is wired to help us survive, not thrive, yet we live in a world where thriving is more attainable than ever before in human history, and we feel its pull. In our modern age, when we are more afraid of upsetting someone else than we are of being true to ourselves, we are giving away our personal power, which keeps us in survival mode and cuts us off from the possibility of truly thriving.
Reclaiming our personal power is an ongoing personal and spiritual journey throughout each of our lives. No one is exempt. If we’re lucky, we grew up in a family or community that showed us they’d be there for us no matter what. If not, we grew up in a family that demanded obedience over individuation, and punished any kind of uniqueness we might have shown. Most have experienced something in between. Whatever we experienced will directly impact and influence how much we avoid or take on personal responsibility for our lives, and how well we are able to hear and honor our unique heart, soul and life path – our Wise One Within.
It’s important to never judge yourself or others when facing choices that trigger survival instincts. Regardless of what the actual choice may be from the outside looking in, from the inside look out they are deeply profound, emotional and difficult to work through – not because the choice is hard, but because what we’re really doing is deciding who we choose to be, and how much personal responsibility and power we’re willing to take on in our lives.
Intuitively, we know that once we step up, it’s going to change us, change our relationships, and change our lives in a way that there is no going back. So, it’s right and good to take some time to do the inner work.
My only real advice is this: make sure you’re making that choice consciously because only then will you have the best chance at avoiding regrets later.
How to Make the Right Choice – for YOU
While no one can tell you for certain what is right for you, there are things you can do to uncover your personal truth and decide your next steps with confidence and courage:
1. Go ahead and ask around for others’ thoughts and input. Maybe they’ll share something you’re not aware of that will be vital to your decision-making process. BUT, don’t do it so that they’re choosing for you. INSTEAD, take in their perspectives while noticing how your body, mind and heart are responding to what you’re hearing. Then, take some time to journal about each sensation and what was connected to it. As you do, you’ll begin to discover the language of your Wise One Within, and begin to have a better sense of what’s right and true for you versus what can be set aside as an interesting perspective to consider.
2. Write a list of pros and cons for the decision you need to make. Once you have listed all the pros you can think of, and all the cons you can think of, go back and rate each item with a number 1-10 based on how important that item is to you. Then, add up each column. Quite often, I’ve seen someone with a list of 10+ pros and just a few cons, discover that the cons actually meant more when they added the ratings up. Adding numbers to something typically kicks in the logical mind and helps clarify an emotional decision.
3. Look back at it from the future. Act as if it’s 3 to 5 years in the future and look back at this decision through the lens of each choice having been made. Play it out. If you chose Option A, who have you become in 3 to 5 years? How does it feel to look back at who you are today? Do the same for each of the options you see available to you. Usually, there’s one that feels more right than the others. Keep in mind, it doesn’t need to be the “perfect” choice and it may be the one no one else believes in. Remember: we must get moving before we can start steering.
4. Ask yourself as often as you need to: “Who do I choose to be as I walk through this situation so that I can live with myself, no matter what others think, believe or say about me later?” In the end, we are only stuck with ourselves. No one else must live the consequences or rewards of the choices we make the same way we do. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we alone are responsible for our lives – not others. We may not know the outcomes, or have control over how others respond, but we can stay focused on how we show up, who we choose to be, and the values we choose to live by. Conscious living isn’t about having all the answers, nor about being perfect, it’s about being willing to explore and experience life through personal responsibility rather than auto-pilot.
5. Practice and make space in your life for mindfulness. This is how you get to know you, learn to hear your Wise One Within, and start increasing your level of trust and faith in Her so that when the big decisions come, you can act courageously and confidently. Your mindfulness practice might look like taking a walk, journaling, meditating, asking yourself the question from #4 daily, or any number of other common practices that can be found in a simple Google search. Do what works for YOU and do it consistently. It takes time to get to know yourself and your Wise One Within – just like any other relationship does – but it’s totally worth it.
As you do these things, you’ll discover something powerful: the fact that you’re even asking these questions IS the answer you’re seeking. The questions wouldn’t be there if you were content. The questions themselves are the first indication that something inside you is needing a change. What that change is that’s needed, is the deeper quest to go on. Sometimes, we can find the answers and address the needs right where we are. Sometimes, we can’t. Either way, take the time to look at what’s waking up inside of you and learn to honor your Wise One Within because She is the W.O.W. in our lives we’re really seeking.
To help you learn the language of your Wise One Within, you're welcome to download this free, 10 minute meditation.
Lori Anne Rising is the international award-winning author of “You. Rising! Reclaim Your Life. Live Your Purpose,” an intuitive channel, and host of “You Rising!” the podcast for women seeking to answer their inner call. Her work challenges old paradigms, and reconnects women with their Wise One Within to empower, inspire and reawaken their life’s purpose and passion.
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