Discernment. It’s a word or term you may see used a lot in the spiritual field these days. It’s become a bit of a of buzz word. But what does it actually mean?
If you look up the meaning in the Oxford Dictionary discernment is stated as:
“the ability to judge well.”
Sounds relatively simple doesn’t it? But in truth there’s a lot more complexity and work associated with this particularly when applied to ‘spiritual’ or ‘self’ work and it can be relatively easy to move from discernment into a place of judgement – but we’ll get to that.
Discernment is a term my team (my guides) have been highlighting for many years. And for me, it’s been fully integrated into my day to day routine. I talk about it frequently but have to remember that’s not the case for everyone.
So, let’s break it down.
Discernment can also be called your ‘gut instinct’ or ‘gut feel’ or even a sense of ‘knowing’. We all have it, built into our DNA as part of the ‘fight or flight’ response which has helped us evolve as a species. In more recent years, we have become less reliant on it as industry and technology has advanced. We no longer ‘live on the land’ so our response to predators, the environment and potential danger has changed in line with this to the extent that many people have ‘switched off’ their powers of discernment or ‘human super-power’.
Being able to recognise the voice of your inner wisdom and guidance; listening to it rather than ignoring or writing it off as your imagination – is key. It can be likened to giving advice to yourself as you would to others, when asked.
Most of us are quick to ignore this inner voice.
How many times have we done something that we knew/felt as potentially a bad/unsuitable idea, and regretted it later? Or even ignored that one idea that in hindsight, would have been perfect. If we had listened to our ‘guidance’ initially, would things have had a different outcome?
How often do we question ‘Why did I not listen to myself?’ I can absolutely hold my hand up to these – how about you?
So why do we turn this super-power or extra sense off?
- Fear of getting too big for our boots.
- Fear of potentially getting it wrong.
- Our programming or social conditioning stops us from trusting our guidance.
- Tendency to throw caution to the wind – aka the ‘sod it’ moment.
Examples of our inner voice
- Stomach rolling or heaving giving a very clear ‘No’ signal.
- A gut feeling of ‘umm, this really isn’t for me’.
- Just knowing ‘no thank you’.
- Feeling butterflies in the stomach signalling a ‘yes’ response
- A deep feeling of excitement at the possibility.
- Simply knowing ‘Yes, that’s for me’.
When presented with something you aren’t sure of, ask yourself;
- If I say yes how do I feel?
- If I say no how do I feel?
If you listen carefully to your ‘inner voice’ you can be sure you’ll get some very straight answers. It’s not so much a decision of what is right or wrong; more what feels better to you, at that time. The trick is to then follow up with action and not be swayed or influenced into changing your mind. Stick by your guidance. Stand in your own power and take responsibility for your choices, actions and reactions.
The more you take responsibility the quicker you will start to understand what makes you tick and what makes you well – you!
In these times of constantly shifting energies, it can be hard to make sense of the threads of life; determining what is your ‘stuff’, what belongs to others and what is ‘collective’ can be overwhelming. This is when discernment can really do its work. By tuning into your own intuitive ‘knowing’ you start to understand how to find that place of inner calm. Which in turn helps us find our authentic voice and path.
A lot of people are undergoing huge energetic shifts right now and at times this can present a lot of ‘shadow’ aspects. Now, this in itself is not a bad thing but it can be a tiring, scary, deeply lonely experience. For some it become just too much – and I speak from a place on non-judgement as I have been there myself, more than once. Feelings, pain, hurt can be projected onto others in an effort to feel better or have a focal point to blame for their troubles. Lashing out can be done in the heat of the moment and serve as a temporary balm but they can cause further issues, as you can imagine. When you take responsibility for your behaviour/reactions you protect others from them, particularly if they are struggling. And by the reverse protect your energy from other’s projections.
With the power of discernment we can see how the pain, hurt or shadows are affecting others behaviour. Try not to judge where they are and to understand that they are doing the best they can, at that point in time. Be compassionate. Unless you have experienced the exact same set of circumstances, you don’t know the choices you would make in their place.
Remember, whilst you may empathise, this energy does not belong to you – you are not responsible for it. Over time it can drain you, make you resentful and cause you to start judging others by questioning their choices, seeing constantly repeating patterns and getting frustrated because they won’t listen.
Instead, set the intention that you will support where you can (and no more) and that the energy be transmuted and sent to Source rather than sit with you or that person.
If that all sounds a bit new age think of it this way:
- Discernment is seeing, feeling and understanding your or another’s actions/choice/reactions.
- Judgement is you having an opinion on said actions/choices/reactions.
When you are in sync with your intuition (your gut feelings) life can improve. The people you spend time with, your use of social media, your thoughts and long-held beliefs, toxic or spent relationships/friendships will shift creating space for change. It’s amazing what listening to your own advice can do.
Ready to give it a go?
Article by Cheryl McGregor
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