This question seems so simple but, if you really think about what it would mean to live by this – and base all your decisions on it – imagine how things would be. And imagine how the world would be if everyone could place this at the heart of their inner compass.
Asking this question throughout my day helps me stay in my centre because it helps me base my decisions on my true, inner, beautiful, resplendent Self rather than my invented, small, selfish, neurotic, non-stop-mental-chatter self. On a practical level, I find it helpful to keep a few pictures in our home of people I respect and look up to spiritually. If I need to re-align myself with truth and love, I can look into their eyes and remember how to access my more soulful, honest and centred responses. This one helps me do that – it is a photograph of my main spiritual teacher, my daughter Bo ! When I look into her eyes in this one, I can only come back to myself and remember the truth.
When I ask this question and commit to being guided by Love, sometimes the answer can be surprising. It might mean saying no to somebody who appears to need my help, which goes against my natural instinct to offer my support if I am asked. But asking the question helps me to bypass my plan and access the Big Plan. What if I am not the person who is meant to help them? What if they are supposed to find a whole new way of doing things by resolving the problem themselves? How can I know what is best, true and good for everyone from my small perspective?
Of course, with parenting, it is a particularly interesting question to ask. In my early days as a mum, I did everything in my power to accommodate my daughter, respect her and say ‘yes’ to her. But, honestly, I was not asking this question, and so in adopting a ‘yes attitude’ to her, I completely left myself out of the equation. And it left us out of balance in our dynamic during those early years.
Once I became a mum a second time, I literally did not have those original reserves. I absolutely had to start putting the whole family first – and including myself fully – and this question was so helpful. Because it helps me to have a sense of the bigger picture – the one I am not in charge of!
One of my favourite lines from A Course in Miracles is ‘I do not know what anything is for’. I come back to this again and again and each time I see more clearly that this is true. And if we do not know what anything is for – in other words, if we cannot fully see the whole picture and the purpose of all our actions, interactions and plans, we can only base our decisions on this one powerful question: What is the loving thing to do?
Sometimes, the loving thing to do is to say yes, sometimes it is to say no, other times it is to stay silent, or to speak your truth. And, sometimes, we may think we have done the ‘wrong’ thing – said too much, or said the wrong thing – but it all leads towards love in the end, especially if we keep asking the question – and listen carefully inside ourselves for the answers that follow.
love from Hollie