Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

The inner path is lined with many trials and pitfalls. But there is nothing to be feared in this foreknowledge; in truth, these encounters with danger are actually stages of initiation; they are necessary points along the upper path where the aspirant reaches—again and again—the proverbial fork in the road.

A great confusion usually clouds these unwanted moments, made all the worse by yet another challenge that is, itself, a part of the path less taken: the aspirant can’t see down either path, as a kind of darkness shrouds the entrance to both.

It is always in these moments that the aspirant feels most frightened and alone. A mounting despair strengthens the sense of fatigue; an outpouring of stressful thoughts and worried feelings deny, decry, and try to console all at once. But the main question remains, which we’ll put in the first person:

How can I tell which of the two paths is the true one? Which leads to the immortal Self, and which is a one-way ticket back to being “me” again? And how do I know which—if any—of these voices in my head telling me “this is the way” or “no, go that way” is offering me the right instruction? In short, how can I tell the difference between a true inner guide and a false one?

Is there a way to know with some certainty which of these guides can see through this darkness and which one is blinded by it? The answer is yes.

The following six ways are designed to help you tell the difference between a false inner guide and a true one. Use the light these insights provide to help you make it, safe and sound, all the way back home to your immortal Self.

  • The true inner guide fears no outcome, while the false inner guide can’t stop trying to protect itself from its own imagined fears.
  • The true inner guide quietly invites you to take a new direction, while the false inner guide first pressures and then pushes you in the direction that it wants you to take.
  • The true inner guide is unshakable, collected, and composed, while the false inner guide is always on the verge of coming unglued.
  • The true inner guide never tries to talk you into an action, while the false inner guide can’t stop talking about the action it wants you to take.
  • The true inner guide understands that you must make mistakes along the way, while the false inner guide harshly judges every misstep.
  • The true inner guide remains open and receptive to any life lesson, no matter how unwanted, while the false inner guide shuts down and rejects any revelation that threatens its flattering self-image.
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