Common sense, the ability to perceive, understand and make practical judgements, is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. So often on the path of wellbeing and spiritual development, we are required to reflect on our thoughts and actions and ask ourselves, do they make sense?
There is something so light and easy about using common sense to reflect on our experience. No matter how justified our actions, how caught up we are in our thinking or how real something feels to us in the moment, that little whisper of wisdom that asks us if it makes sense for us to feel that way, act that way, give energy to those thoughts is often all we need to take a step back and get a fresh perspective.
Common sense gives way to clarity of mind. It allows us to stop giving attention to the thoughts that bring us down, skew our vision and cover up our wellbeing. Once we have a little distance from anything that feels overwhelming, we experience clearer thinking and are able to act in a more coherent and helpful manner.
Does it make sense for us to obsess about a negative comment? Does it make sense for us to tell ourselves we are ugly? Does it make sense for us to feed guilt over our past or anxiety over our future? Not if we want to feel well. Not if we want to be successful. Not if we want to make positive and healthy contributions to the world.
Whoever decided that to make somebody do better they had to be made to feel bad about themselves first wasn’t acting from common sense. Punishment doesn’t lead to wellbeing; it leads to confusion and grief and shame and blame and anger and frustration and unhappiness which in turn lead to unhealthy thoughts and behaviour.
Common sense leads to reflection and insight and growth. Common sense shows us where we went wrong and why and allows us to take a different course next time. Common sense is a healthy inner communication that helps us to notice what we are thinking and doing and assess whether our decisions make sense for us. Common sense is a blessing that brings us back to ourselves.