cultivating discernment

Today we ask that you learn to discern what voices you can best trust.

In general, if someone has a strongly negative worldview, is prone to anger, pettiness, and jealousy, and has a lot of conflicts with people…

… you would be wise, not to listen to this person.

When weighing a person’s advice, ask yourself:

Is this someone who appears to be healthy, and balanced?

What is the person’s energy like?  Does this person have good energy?

Does it feel good to be around this person?  

Do you feel energized, or drained, by this person?  Is this person calming, or does he stir you up into a frenzy?  

Is this person purely supportive of you?  Or does this person have an agenda?

It is very good to discern when people have agendas.  An agenda is an ulterior motive.

For example, when a person harshly criticizes you or undermines you, then says: “I’m only telling you these things because I care!” — usually there is an ulterior motive.  The person is attempting to manipulate you, to gain power and dominance over you.  Sadly, many unhealthy parents do this to their children.  But such behavior is commonplace in all relationships.

Humans have an innate tendency to trust and believe anyone who speaks with confidence, and authority.

Unfortunately, humans have gotten into terrible trouble because of this.  For often, “voices that speak with authority” can be false.  That is how demagogues and dictators rise to power.

So one of the best skills to develop is that of trusting your inner guidance.

This does not mean, be mistrustful of people.

Rather it means, become more sensitive to your intuition and discernment about people.

Your intuition can almost always tell when someone has an agenda, or ulterior motive.

The best way to get in touch with your intuition is to cultivate a quiet mind.  Through meditative practices, it becomes easier to get in touch with what you sense and discern about people.

Please do not listen to people who are strongly rooted in the energy of fear, anger, or paranoia.  Take with many grains of salt anything that a fearful, angry, or paranoid person says.

Also beware of anyone who attempts to appeal to your vanity.  Beware of flatterers.  This does not mean, don’t take compliments.  Compliments are wonderful, and you deserve them.  But there is a difference between a compliment and flattery.  Flattery comes with an ulterior motive.  With a quiet mind, you can discern the difference between compliments and flattery.

When a person is calm, centered, and clear-eyed — that is someone to listen to.

Question the advice of anyone who has a lot of drama and conflict in his life.  If you wish to cultivate health, hear the wisdom of healthy people.