We each have a sixth sense; an intuition, gut feeling, or little voice inside our head that guides our judgment. We do not need to call on our intuition every time we have a decision to make. Many of our decisions come from our conscious thoughts, prior experiences, and five senses.
Sometimes decisions or solutions to a dilemma are not clear cut and judgment calls are needed. These are the times we have to summon our conscience and rely on the perceptive abilities of our subtle senses.
Our subtle senses always tell us the right thing to do. We only need listen and trust them. Granted, that is much easier said than done, especially when we know that the right decision will not be well received. I had such a dilemma in 2009 while writing the manuscript of my memoir, Fine…ly.
With the manuscript nearly finished I had a major decision to make. There was an integral part of the story that was deliberately missing. It was a truth I felt compelled to share but had resigned myself to leave out. Now the story did not make sense and I was questioning my prior decision.
I found myself at an impasse.
Revealing the truth meant “outing” family members who were going to be hurt, upset, and angry. The airing of our dirty laundry would be a bold move. I would need great courage to see it through.
Avoiding the truth meant perpetuating a secret that I no longer wanted to keep, one that had caused me heartache and pain throughout my life. It meant protecting others at my expense. That would have been easier to deal with initially but harder in the long run.
After a great deal of praying and soul searching, I decided to follow my inner guidance. I put my faith in the truth and committed to writing about it. It was the harder road to take but I knew in my heart that it was the right one.
A low level of apprehension constantly pervaded my thoughts in the interim between the completion of my manuscript and the publishing of it. It seemed my intuition was at odds with my conscience—it is not my nature to inflict emotional pain on others. It was a difficult time for me, but I knew the conflict was fear based and I was not going to allow it to overrule the inner guidance I had chosen to put my faith in. I only hoped that I would someday receive confirmation that my decision was right.
Fine…ly was published in October 2010. When my family members read it they reacted exactly as I had anticipated they would. They were shocked, hurt, and angry. I felt bad for them, but I never questioned my decision.
It was not long after the initial impact hit that I received the confirmation I had hoped for—the one that would affirm I had made the right decision. An unexpected healing occurred in my family—a healing only made possible by the revelation in my book. Hurt feelings remained but the denial did not.
I knew that this challenge had been placed in my hands for a reason.
With the taxing emotional demands of Fine…ly’s release, the joy of my new authorship had been bridled. Once removed, I could begin relaxing and basking in its glow.
The reception to Fine…ly was excellent. Everyone loved the book—word was that they could not put it down. That is what every author hopes for.
Several months after my book had been released I went back to my home town and met up with a group of old girlfriends, many of whom I had not seen in twenty years or longer. They had all read my memoir and loved it—and they all seemed proud of my accomplishment.
Having known me in my earlier years (some very well) these women assumed they knew everything about me. But that was not true. I had not revealed certain aspects of my childhood to them or anyone else.
They had many question about my story. Their curiosity was understandable. After all they were my friends—we had all grown up together. So I addressed their inquiries more candidly than I would have with others.
But I was soon taken aback when a few of them began taking liberties with my candor, when what I thought was genuine interest turned judgmental. They asked me how I could have written what I did about my family. They accused me of exaggerating the truth and being cruel. The rest of the women watched the assault and did nothing. No one spoke in my behalf.
I felt cornered, goaded into justifying my decisions. And the harder I tried to vindicate myself, the deeper hole I seemed to dig. Having been put on the spot I reacted defensively and was therefore accused of being unresolved about my past.
Obviously my “friends” were no friends at all.
What caused them to react the way they did is unclear. I can only guess. Perhaps my success made them feel insecure or envious. I do know that it had nothing to do with me. I was just a projection screen for their feelings and self-images. But the reason for their rude behavior is essentially unimportant. It is irrelevant to the problem, though I have soured on those friendships.
I made a choice; I allowed myself to be victimized. No one forced me to justify myself or my position. I did that all on my own. My intentions were pure and my conscience was clear. The only thing I lacked was confidence.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. I guess it is more like a valuable reminder; I knew the lesson but did not apply the knowledge. What others think or say about us does not matter. What is important is that we always stay true to ourselves.
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