Recent events in my life made me feel quite cheated. It was tempting to blame others for making me feel this way. I am still in shock about the way I have been fooled. No. Let me restate that. I am still in shock about the way I allowed myself to be fooled. Yes, I’ve come to believe that no one can fool us except ourselves.
No One Can Fool Us Except Ourselves
The more I look back on my experience, the more I realize that I had closed my eyes and ears to the various signs I had got telling me that something was not right. I chose to function on past experience rather than look closely at what was before me. I made excuses for other people’s behaviour and berated myself when I thought ‘badly’ of someone or the choices they made. Somehow, I put my intuition on ‘hold’.
Each of us has an inner compass that guides us – that tells us when something is not okay, when we are making wrong choices, or when someone is not playing clean with us. But for a variety of reasons, we don’t always listen and often end up being fooled. Can we blame anyone other than ourselves?
One of my favourite writers, Alan Cohen, shares how he allowed himself to be fooled too.
Years ago I got involved with a cult led by a teacher who claimed to be enlightened. The students in this organization worshipped the teacher more than the teachings, and I went right along with the hype. I gave my power away to this man and I did things just to fit in with the crowd. But every time I fit in, I sold out. Eventually a scandal revealed that the teacher had been lying to the students and engaging in covert activities contrary to his teachings.
When the debacle became public, I felt ripped off, betrayed, and angry. I blamed the teacher for fooling me. After some introspection, however, I realized that I had fooled myself. If I had been true to myself, I never would have become one of the sheep. Then I began to appreciate the experience.
I realized that the purpose of my involvement with the teacher was not the lessons he gave, but for me to learn to follow my own spirit rather than the herd. Suddenly the whole process became immensely valuable to me, and I laughed about it. It was worth the experience to learn how to respect my sacred self rather than external authority.
– Alan Cohen
I think the important thing is for us to reconnect with ourselves. To allow our inner selves more room to be. To listen more intently to our inner voice and let it guide us.
Like Alan, I’m letting my experience underline the value of respecting my inner voice.
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