Sarah May Bates
September 30, 2012 5:00 am

One of the most profound things about getting older and maturing is being able to rely on the honesty you have with yourself.  The more you listen to how your gut is feeling and when it’s telling you something is wrong, the more you will naturally take care of you. And that process just gets easier.

What is not immediately apparent about fixing the things that are not good for you is that you make your life a million times better. It’s amazing. Many of us fall for things that are not necessarily loving to us, whether that’s a habit, a job, a person, an idea of something we think we want. That thing can be so hard to let go of for many reasons: fear, fear of loneliness, fear of loss, an overall a feeling that we just can’t let go. We might be losing something we will miss forever and ever. It’s totally terrifying, I know. But the more you can listen to yourself and actively respond to how you are feeling, no matter how inconvenient the external effects of this response, the more you will instantly know when something isn’t good for you and automatically take action.

What you get as a reward for your bravery and acceptance of a truth you hate or fear, is a deep and powerful bond with yourself. It changes you and allows you to trust yourself, and it literally enables you to rely on yourself. It reinforces the inner compass that we all have inside of us, and that makes everything in life sooooo much easier. You’ll experience relief from the dead ends we sometimes lead ourselves toward, even when clear signs mark it as such. You’ll also spend much less time in a state of torturous ambivalence: you’ll simply wait until you just know. Because, when you truly know things about yourself and what you want, that’s all that matters. Decisions become a relief and no longer a pain that you do not want to admit. Verdicts are no longer daunting and terrifying to accept because they have come from something deep inside you, based wholly in what you want for yourself.

How to foster this self-trust? It has to start with deliberate self-protective behavior: taking steps to remove the things in your life that are not good for you. Sometimes this can be difficult to enforce because it’s not convenient and it feels unnatural, but stay committed to yourself. Even when that means you have to be alone for a while. Or that someone’s going to stop talking to you. Or that practical details about your life are going to be more difficult. You’ll find that the more you start listening to the hurt and anger that you feel, the easier it will be and the more natural it will become to stop accepting it. Maltreatment will quickly become intolerable and something inside you will react: like a new alarm system has been installed. And it’s awesome.

If there are others around you that do not like this change in you, that is totally normal and to be expected. Keep on going. Yes you will face conflict because you’re growing outside of a space you previously occupied, and that means everything around you is going to have to reposition itself. Just stay committed to your truth, your feelings, and listen acutely to your own voice. How others feel is outside of your control.

Having self-trust is a feeling similar to bliss: that no matter what happens and no matter how dire things are, you will be okay. It doesn’t remove the pain of things that are hard. It doesn’t change the fact that conflict will arise. It’s just a profound level of peace that comes from knowing that your inner compass will find the best path in life, and that’s something your brain can’t solve. That internal and automatic process allows you to simply exist in your life. To let go, and accept everything as it happens, good or bad, and move on.

With each step in this direction it will become closer to second-nature. It’s a wonderful feeling, and it will lead you directly to the things that make your life better in all the ways that count. Be good to yourself. You are more amazing and strong than you realize.

Happy Sunday all, xox Sarah

(Image via ShutterStock.)

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