|Hear with your ears that which is the sovereign good;
With a clear mind look upon the two sides
Between which each man must choose for himself,
Watchful beforehand that the great test may be accomplished in our favor.
Now at the beginning the twin spirits have declared their nature,
The better and the evil,
In thought and word and deed. And between the two
The wise ones choose well, not so the foolish.
Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Yasna 30.2-3
Re-inventing the Wheel
When you are trying to understand something important in your life to make a choice or decision, it is good to remember that you may already have most of the information you need in the evaluation. Think about the points that are already resolved in connection with the problem. Don't let anything dissuade you from what you know is true and you have already made a stand on. Satan will try to cloud your judgment and confuse you or even make you forget that you already decided what to do or not do on a certain point.
After you have established what you already know and stand on firmly, and are not trying to re-invent the wheel, review your established values and principles. How do they relate to what you are choosing or not choosing to do. Do you feel in your heart that what you are contemplating is right? Our heart is the organ of our conscience which is our spirit connection. In our spirit dwells the spirit and life and love of God. It is this connection we can trust to lead our path.
The values we believe in are the boundaries for our actions. If we make our choices within these boundaries as a given, a lot of the question will be settled before we even have to evaluate anything else. An example would be that if something would harm anyone in any way, our value to be loving (although sometimes the loving choice can hurt) would immediately discredit that choice. Sometimes established laws go against our values and it takes courage to resist the pressure to follow them.
Rather than automatically responding, think and evaluate what you know is true already, then evaluate it further according to your values and then respond with what you know your heart is telling you.
Be sensitive to those feelings that center in your abdominal area. If you feel yucky wrong about something, don't do it! If there is a fearful quirky feeling, wait and pray more and take more time before making a decision. If you feel compulsion or that you have to do it right away, stop! No you don't have to! Whatever stirs your emotions should be evaluated. If someone is pressuring you and you feel uncomfortable, tell them so. Refuse to respond to anyone's pressure no matter what it is. No one has a right to make you do something if you don't want to. To weigh any of these things with your values is very important and can stop the whole thing really fast.
Use your value beliefs for your shield. They can protect you from unwanted propositions. As a child you could tell a friend (with secret relief) that you couldn't do something you really didn't want to do because it was against your parents rules. It let you off the hook. So tell people trying to convince you against your better judgment that you have a value that doesn't agree with that. They won't argue very long against a value, it is too specific and obvious. Satan likes to hide in the shadows and throw deceptions and half truths to make you think something is really okay when you feel uneasy about it. He tries to make you feel stupid or un-cool if you don't do what everyone else thinks is just fine.
But if you stand on your values on a continual basis, others will start wondering why they are so important to you. Maybe they will begin to wonder if what they are doing is really that great, especially if they see you with an inner peace and balance in your life that seems to elude them.