What is discernment?
It has been called the “quiet inner-voice”, “divine guidance”, “your inner-compass”, “instinct”, “gut feeling”, and more… It doesn’t matter what you call it, the good news is that it is innately human, and just like a muscle it gets stronger the more you use it. Discernment, in its most basic sense, is your ability to recognize something truthfully, however, this is a double edged sword, for recognizing something truthfully also means being truthful with yourself.
You do this by acknowledging how it makes you feel.
The easiest and most successful way to practice discernment is by checking your gut. Your gut feelings will never lie to you. So, if you ever find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, that makes you feel agitated, that makes you feel angry, that divides you from your fellow man in thought or deed, take a moment to check your gut and recognize it. Even if you cannot act upon it right away, recognize it.
by giving yourself permission to have your own feelings and not to be swept up in the feelings or desires of others. You will know you are on the right track when you begin to realize, that in many areas of your life, you have been just “going along to get along”. (It’s OK, we all do it!). As a matter of fact, in many ways and to varying degrees all of our lives have become one small compromise stacked upon another small compromise against our better judgements. My message to you is that this can not go on much longer. We have all “just got along” for far too long and we are seeing the results of our “allowing” all around us.
Discernment is also…
learning to see decisions in front of you as choices between what feels most right inside you, and what does not. Discernment is when you do something when it feels “more whole” “more natural” “more loving”, and you do not do something when it doesn’t.
That inner discord that you feel is a message that – you do not want to be doing, thinking, or talking about the thing you are doing, thinking or talking about right now. Once you recognize this you have a clear choice to make. Do I allow this to continue? Or do I find a way to reflect what I am truly feeling. (Remember, it is always within your power to choose to end or alter your support of things that do not resonate with what you know.)
Why is discernment important?
I would go so far as to say that discernment is one of the “Three Markers of an Awakened Life“. Discernment is recognizing the true nature of a thing from our perspective. Discernment doesn’t judge, it chooses. Either you choose to do and think and say things that fit with the loving awakening you, or to continue to allow, participate and be swept up into others’ feelings, desires, and ideas that go against your better “inner judgement”.
One might say this is our nature.
That we, as human beings, are destined to be little more than animals in the way that we deal with one another. However, a discerning mind knows better. A discerning mind knows, that the result of all we see is merely the sum total of a lot of smaller decisions along the way and acknowledges our role in it. For example, to deny the reality of hunger or war by putting our fingers in our ears and saying “la la la”, or trying to positively affirm away or pray away these truths is never going to be as effective as when all of us are consciously discerning and choosing to do differently.
Discernment is the edge…
of the thought that is being pondered by us at any moment. It leads us along the most gentle and loving path through the chaos that life throws at us. It does this by letting you know exactly how you feel about it. Are you brave enough to follow?