Not everyone has a moral compass. And you don’t have to be religious to have morals. But if you have any form of empathy whatsoever, you have a moral compass as well. The thing is that you will sometimes find out that doing the right thing often feels good, but it also sometimes feels bad.
I remember when I was in university and I found out from my girlfriend that her friend was flirting with and leading my friend on only because he had a brain that she wanted to pick in order to ace essays and exams in a class we all went to. She was actually involved with someone else, and allowing my friend to be head over heals for her in order to serve her needs. My girlfriend wanted me to swear to not tell my friend. I ended it with her immediately, which felt horrible, but was the right thing to do because I could not possibly be with anyone who would expect me to lie to a very good friend.
Then the more difficult step was taken. Sometimes when it is feeling completely wrong you have to do it anyway because it is the right thing to do. I knew that when I told my friend about this his heart would break. I could not stand that. But I could not stand seeing him being used either. And that was worse. So we went for coffee and I told him. It was difficult. And I did prefix the information with, “This may make you want to never be friends with me again, but I have something very difficult to tell you that is going to be even more difficult for you to hear and it has to be told.” So I went ahead. When I was done, he was, understandably, very hurt. But he was also extremely grateful to me for being honest with him about it. Our friendship lasted. We both ended up without a girlfriend for awhile. That was okay, considering that we had both been quite betrayed, he with his girlfriend’s scheme and me by my girlfriend who thought it was completely okay to go along with it. Her thinking that I would also go along with it was salt on that wound. It was like she thought that just because I enjoyed sex with her that I would let myself be led around anywhere at all and hurt even a very good friend. Screw that. There is a bro code for a reason. For me a bro code is not about not telling secrets. It is aboiut having each other’s back. I would not break it, even if I risked losing my friend.
The thing is that life gets really complicated. And people often do not have your best interests at heart nor do they have the best interests of those you care about at heart. So the only thing we can really do is pay attention to our instincts and know that if we have bad feeling in our gut or in our heart we need to listen to it and do the exact opposite. The right thing to do is often not the easy thing to do. And many people (too many) just do what is easy instead of what is right. That sort of mentality is at the base of everything that is wrong with humanity. Greed, selfishness, narcissism….it is all so easy. But because it is easy, and because so many others are doing it, does not make it right. Not even close.
Place your hand over your heart for a moment. Breathe into that spot. Listen. Feel the peace, serenity, truth and love that the intelligence of the heart center has. Whenever you are in doubt, just place your hand there…and listen. The heart cannot become confused like the brain can. The brain can get love and honor all mixed up with sentimentality and nostalgia. It gets truth mixed up with perception. But the HEART knows what lies beneath it all. It knows what is right for us on a very deep, soul level, and it will never steer us wrong. When we listen to our hearts we will never be led astray.