My friend wrote back to clarify his question about the relative truth of a fear or projection:
Q: I’m still grappling with the relative importance or truth of my fears and projections. For example, if a job comes my way and I feel contracted about it, I don’t know whether that contraction is because of feedback from the Heart (“Not much truth here for you”) or arising from a fear of change (“I’ll have to move”) or from old wounds (“Poverty is more comforting and familiar”). Here’s another example: Someone invites me to dinner, and although my mind is saying, “Yes, yes, what fun,” my chest is saying, “No way.” This could be Heart guidance or some aversion or fear.
A: The art is to catch what is happening right as the contraction starts. Are you purely thinking of taking the new job? Or are you thinking a judgmental or fearful thought about it? Some of our thoughts are so automatic that they are almost unconscious. Catching what is actually happening in awareness at the exact moment of the contraction can be challenging. So in making big decisions, it helps to slow down, take one possibility at a time, and also give yourself lots of time to see what the overall climate of truth is regarding that decision.
When it comes to practical decisions and sorting through the many thoughts, feelings, intuitions, desires, longings, and impulses of our daily life, there are limitations to how useful the Heart can be. That’s because it often doesn’t matter that much what we decide and what we do each moment. Our decisions are often not that important. From the perspective of our soul, it may not be a big deal where we work or live or what we do, although the Heart will still register a relative difference between any two possibilities if there is one (sometimes two choices are equally true).
The real value of listening to your Heart moment to moment is not that it makes everything work out well and avoids all pitfalls and wrong turns, but that it means that you are listening when a profound truth arises. When you are touched by a deeper knowing, the Heart shows you how true the bigger truth is by softening and expanding to a striking degree. You can expand right out of your usual sense of “me.” These bigger truths appear in our lives spontaneously and more often than we might realize, so it is a great gift when we are present and aware of them.