“Learning to Trust Yourself and Life Again: Balancing Inner and Outer Authority”

Balance

In last week’s article “The Trojan Horse Opportunity of Change, Challenge, and Transition”, I wrote about updating beliefs, habits, and choices for staying contemporary in your life and world. One of the updates I touched on was balancing the power you give authority outside yourself with the authority you allow your own self when crafting your happiness and life. Learning to trust yourself and life is crucial in creating happiness and satisfaction in life.

You’ve been taught to defer power to authority outside yourself-parents, teachers, experts, ministers, etc-and to adhere to common answers vs your own answers, as to what is right and what is wrong. You are taught to defer to the (mostly) masculine norms Western civilization is constructed upon, women feeling this imbalance most personally, and the potential of all people impacted. So it is any wonder you may not truly know yourself, trust what you feel, or have faith in life as on your side?

In time, your soul will initiate a process for evaluating your life, often through a crisis (from the Latin word meaning “to decide/decisive point) in your health, relationships, or happiness. This evaluation brings to light the balance between the facts of your outer authority and the truths of your inner authority. We are taught to fear change, challenge, and transition, yet the process of claiming more integrity and soul in your life only enhances the integrity of your relationships, happiness, and fulfillment in life.

In life contemporary, we make everything important except learning about ourselves. In response, life will often trigger events in life as opportunities for learning about more about yourself:

1. You live life by “shoulds, need to, have to’s” in your roles, your relationships, and your choices…..building resentment you blame others for, when you could be learning to respond with compassion for yourself and learn more about your feelings!

2. Your intimate relationships begin to experience escalating conflict, conflict based on expectations of what the other “owes” you….treating your relationships like commodities when you could be learning to trust sharing your imperfect self with another imperfect self!

3. Your body lets you know it is unhappy and demands your attention in ways painful or scary….. so you feel betrayed by your body when you could be learning how to discern and decipher it’s wisdom!

4. You realize you are spending your days simply trying to get through to the end of the day, day after day……indulging in drama or distractions when you could be committing to support, wisdom, and guidance on the skills, ways, and delight of self-discovery!

Contemporary life includes few traditions of mentorship or apprenticeship, yet our need for the care and guidance of wise community is more than ever. Power (from Latin meaning “be able”), secular or spiritual, historically passed through a conscious community tending to the awakening and learning of power. With the dismantling of traditions and the diminishing of institutional authority, we are being called to claim more inner authority yet challenged by not knowing how to do so, alone with only our facts.