I am listening to those nudges

Dr. Rich Patterson

Those nudges

What are those nudges saying?  Are you listening?  Listening to those nudges, I mean. Are we listening to those nudges in your life?  Today I want to talk about listening through the darkness.  We all have dark times in our life when it just seems things are falling in on us. It might be an off-track child, a health issue, an addiction, family issues, work struggles, or maybe a relationship problem. Perhaps we’re just overwhelmed by everything going on. It can seem hopeless when we’re in the middle of these times.  We think about giving up, just giving up on our dreams.  Know that we are never entirely free from experiencing the difficulties of life.  But it is during those times that we learn the most.  We’re not learning much when things are going well because we’re happy, and everything seems in alignment.  During those dark times, we know something new about ourselves or find that we need to move in a new direction.

I can get overwhelmed, and I know when it happens, but it always seems to be after the fact that I realize it.  When I reflect on it, I often conclude that I am doing this to myself.  I might overbook my schedule with supposedly important obligations, job, family, spouse, and other duties that I assign myself. Then it happens; I feel like I can’t go forward anymore.  Recently when I felt particularly unfocused, I decided to make a list of “Things to Quit Doing.”  It felt good to list some things that I thought I needed to be a part of and write them down for abandonment.  It wasn’t a long list, but the things that made a list were all very involved and full of time commitments.  “Do I need to keep doing this, I asked myself?”  It didn’t take long to come to terms with myself that these were indeed the right things, and now they needed commitment and action to abandon.  I also wanted to be sure that I didn’t just replace them with something else but that the things I looked at would contribute to the use of my talents and benefit others.

Making this list was easy because I had been contemplating it in my head for a long time.  The problem was, I get so attached and involved with the significant commitments in my life that I feel like it doesn’t matter how much time they take; it is something that I do and is essential.  But those nudges, those little thoughts that pop in your head that say, “Really!  Are you going to spend several hours on that again?”  Do you listen to your nudges?  They can be non-verbal information that your body gives you.  It might be a tightness in your stomach or head.  But they can also be pieces of conversation that you come upon in various situations.  The other day I was walking into a restaurant, and I overhead only a couple of words of a conversation, and I immediately knew they were for me.  They just hit me.  I could have easily ignored them, but I later spent some time thinking about their application.  Now understand they weren’t talking about me; it was just a couple of words that fit my concern.

Sometimes I turn on my car radio, scan channels, and see what words jump out.  They might be the announcer talking or words to a song.  Just a couple of them, and very often, nearly always, they have application in some way in my life.  You might be walking by someone’s desk at work and hear just a few words they say in a phone conversation.  I also have a few favorite radio programs that I listen to when driving.  I turn them on, and bingo, the speaker says precisely the words I need to hear within seconds.  Coincidence?  Maybe, maybe not.  How else can we be guided, if not in subtle ways?

Take time to listen to what is around you about a challenge in your life, and I think you’ll find that the answers are right there.  If only we notice them, remember them, and then think about how they can shape our lives when we have time.  I have found those little nudges quite helpful and have used them for years.

When we listen to those nudges, we are closer to Being Who we are; read this post to help yourself further, Being Who You Are – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

the Well Doing website has a seat on the Importance of Being Yourself, The Importance of Being Yourself (welldoing.org)

I was hoping you could leave me a note and tell me how you feel or have used this.