As I walk beside women as they travel the Radiant Threefold Path, occasionally a woman wants to know:
What does returning to my truth have to do with my journey?
When I hear questions like this, I imagine she’s thinking:
- I have a lot of issues I’m dealing with here. We need to get on with focusing on what is really important.
- This is a waste of time.
- You don’t understand! My spouse/child/boss (fill in the blank) is being abusive/struggling/not paying attention to me (fill in the blank), and I need to do something about it!
I get it. I can see how turning your focus to you may feel like it has nothing to do with your problems or your issues, or your relationships, or whatever has your attention at the moment.
The deeper meaning just underneath the question is likely more rooted in one of these beliefs or habits:
- I feel uncomfortable, awkward, and nervous when I focus on myself.
- I was taught that it is self-indulgent or selfish to spend so much time focused on me.
- I need people — or circumstances — to change so that I can feel better. I can barely tolerate taking my focus off of others and putting it on myself because I’m terrified I will never get my needs met.
I relate to all of these because I’ve experienced every single one.
As women, we are trained from a very young age to focus on other people — to read their moods, their nonverbal cues, and between the lines — to figure out what we should think or how we should feel or what we should do next. The tragedy is that our training causes us to become dysfunctionally comfortable with focusing outside ourselves to determine our reality or our truth, or to get our needs met.
This way of being is living from the outside in.
The consequences of outside-in living is that we don’t know what we need, want, or desire because we haven’t looked inside to find out.
When we don’t have this vital information, there is no way to pursue desires. And when we can’t pursue our desires because we don’t know what they are, we lose hope and become resentful and bitter. And if our condition lasts too long, we may completely give up.
The consequences of not knowing how to return to your authentic truth are powerful — and completely avoidable.
What if, instead of skipping our inner exploration or focusing on others, we asked ourselves these three powerful questions any time we feel stressed, irritable, or unhappy:
- What do I think?
- How do I feel (including body sensations)?
- If I could create the perfect outcome in this situation, what would it be?
If these three questions became our go-to inner dialogue, I believe our lives would completely change. That is the power of Return — the first portal of The Radiant Threefold Path.
Returning to you means you know what lights up your senses, you know how you feel (your emotions), and you are intimately aware of your thoughts — including honoring and trusting your intuition.
It may seem simple. It may seem selfish. It may feel like a waste of time. But knowing you is absolutely necessary for you to create the life you desire.
What thoughts stop you from returning to your authentic truth? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
© Vicki Tidwell Palmer (2020)