Courtney Carver of the minimalist blog Be More With Less recently had a lovely post titled “I Don’t Know What’s Best for You.” It really struck a chord.
I (like a lot of people, I’m guessing) was not taught to trust my own judgment or intuition as a child. Growing up in a hyper-conservative Christian environment, my gut instincts were “bad” and “sinful” and could not be trusted. Thankfully, there were plenty of straight white dudes I was taught to trust instead: my pastor, the principal at my evangelical Christian school, my dad, etc.
This mindset of “other people know what’s best for you” followed me well into adulthood. To some extent, that’s necessary–I wouldn’t presume to know more about my car than an actual mechanic, or try to DIY a colonoscopy. But I shouldn’t be afraid to question the experts, especially if my gut says they’re wrong.
Relying on authority figures to tell me how to live my life–from therapists to the woman who cuts my hair–just isn’t so helpful anymore. It’s a crutch. It became a habit born out of the discomfort of indecision and ambiguity. It’s really hard not to know the answer, not to know what to do next, to feel out of control and lost and alone. Solution? Find someone to tell me how to live my life! (No wonder cults are so appealing.)
That’s why Courtney Carver’s post was so freaking refreshing. SO RARELY do people actually say “I don’t know what you should do. Trust your gut. What do YOU think you should do?” I’m totally guilty of this–I’ve been more than happy to dish out unsolicited advice about just about anything. (Working on it.)
Instead of rushing to find someone to tell me what to do, hopefully I can do things like take time for meditation/mindfulness, or journal, or just give myself permission not to make a decision yet. It’s OK to not know the answer or next step. Hopefully, in time, it will come. ❤