How often do you feel completely sure of yourself about something?
That's a pretty loaded question, everything from 'I know what I'm going to eat for breakfast today' to 'I can't believe I said that yesterday!' all the way to 'She still hasn't responded to me, I'm sure I pissed her off when I ______, I always do that, it's all my fault.', and make up an entire story about the scenario, which usually includes a lot of talking to yourself in a way you'd never talk to anyone else.
Your life complications most likely look very different from mine, but there is something that rings true for everyone unless we have an active practice to step away from it: we assume.
Just over a year ago when I got let go from a (financially) incredible job that I 'knew' I'd be at for years, I took an 8 months hiatus and turned inward. Years of being someone I didn't recognize didn't suit me any longer and I was fiending to discover who I was again.
During this time, I read an incredible amount of books; from self-help, to spirituality, the chakra system, I was finally intaking substance that I'd been lacking for years. One of my favorite's was Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements. Many of you have probably read this already; those of you who haven't, but are interested in an easy (short!) read that gets right to the point about four traits from which your life will most assuredly benefit from, I highly recommend it.
The third of said agreements, 'Don't make assumptions'.
Heres a direct excerpt from the book:
3- Don't make assumptions.
Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you canto avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
This is the 'agreement' that has transformed my life the most. By becoming a much more effective and direct communicator, I've lessen a hell of a lot of drama from my life. It's worked with most of my relationships and I've found that people have more respect for me, because I don't tip-toe around things to get answers for things anymore. I don't know about you, but I used to be a sneak when I wanted something. I'd bullshit, beat around the bush, white lie, and divert attention to persuade people into what they needed to think to go along with my plan.
To that I say no more!! Part of awakening awareness is paying attention to your thoughts. Seeing, acknowledging, and ruminating on the attitudes that habitually arise in your psyche. Self-inquiry. When you're able to decipher that you're going down an internally damaging or untrue path, you can right it, because you're aware of what you're doing.
This is raising your consciousness. This is awareness. This is growth.
So often when this type of talk is brought up in a societal group that doesn't consciously practice awareness, it's received in an interesting way. People think it's 'woo woo' or 'hippie talk', or evil in some way (I've gotten that response before.). I think a lot of that type of response is from people being uncomfortable by things that aren't considered 'normal', and therefore, feel they need to immediately divert attention elsewhere. This makes me uncomfortable, I'd better run!, also known as a fight or flight response. Resistance. Unsolved internal shit is HARD. Incredibly hard, especially if you aren't surrounded by people who believe that it's possible to recover. But it is possible.
The best advice I could give someone who is thirsty to learn more about this (YOU. If you're here reading this far into this post, it'd be hard to believe otherwise..!), is to reach out to your community. This is something that I, myself, have had a hard time doing. Reaching out to people you don't know, especially when you don't even know what it is that you're looking for, but just know you're looking for MORE... It's out there! Volunteer to an organization that resonates with you, join a book club, take a yoga class, just DO something.
I can only speak from my own story, but once I stepped away from a life that I completely didn't identify with anymore, and took a tiny step outside my comfort zone, my world started shifting. It was exhilarating, and has been every single day since. We can feel trapped by our story and create a thousand excuses to stay the same, but you really don't have to do that to yourself. If you choose to, that's one thing, but don't lie to yourself by saying you can't do anything you want to in this life.