"With great love and respect, I honor my heart, my true teacher"
Have you ever had the experience that what you're experiencing through your senses doesn't match what you're feeling in your gut? That happens to me all the time. It's the reason I have so much self doubt. The other thing that contributes to my self-doubt is that sometimes everyone around me has an opinion that is the polar opposite of mine.
For most of my life I've relied on my senses and the opinion of others to influence how I was feeling and how I would make my decisions. Trusting others more than I trusted my heart. They must know better than me. Maybe I was missing something. That's changed over the last few years.
I'm not sure if it's my meditation practice or if it's just getting older but I no longer feel influenced by other people's opinions. I no longer question my gut feeling. The more I honor and respect the guidance of my own heart the easier it is to trust it. I can honestly say that I'm never sorry when I follow my heart.
I do, however, still struggle when I feel like I'm being "un-yogic" by following me intuition to avoid someone. In yoga-land we are taught to see God in everyone and love everyone. We give everyone the benefit of the doubt. The yoga texts clearly confirm that this is the way we need to live our lives. Yet sometimes my gut tells me that someone is not to be trusted. Do I ignore that for the sake of being "yogic"?
What if the yoga concept of following your intuition conflicts with the yoga concept of loving everyone? What's an aspiring yogi to do? Meditate of course. Turn within and listen. Even though we need to love everyone and see God in everyone that doesn't mean we need to keep company with people that our intuition is telling us to avoid. The reality is that not everyone's intentions are good.
Yes, we can see them as sick instead of evil and yes, we need to recognize that they may be suffering. With great love and respect, I honor those people but I choose not to keep company with them. Does that make me a bad yogi? I don't think so.
Interestingly, I've noticed that I no longer feel the desire to explain or defend myself. This has also helped me to accept the fact that some people simply aren't in touch with their own inner teacher or guide. They continue to be influenced by their senses and the opinions of others. In the same way that I don't want to have to defend my actions I no longer need others to defend theirs.
"With great love and respect, I honor my heart, my true teacher" --- May we all learn to honor our hearts and follow the internal guidance from the Divine.