I had never asked myself whether these activities were good for me because, since I felt I was guided to do them, the answer would be yes, even if they caused suffering. I did not see the red flag. It was only when my partner pointed this out to me that I understood that these activities, which were Right activities, were feeding my craving for acknowledgment and for being right and thus caused me suffering,
I was certainly conscious of my frustration in these activities, and thus my suffering, but I did not see it as a red flag, so powerful is the control of the mind, Once I knew that and dropped those activities until such time as I feel that I am free of the craving because my faith is absolute, I felt a huge sense of relief.
I was empowered with the feeling that I have everything I need inside myself to be at peace and happy.. That is what saying "no" did for me. And I applied this lesson to other activities which feed other cravings as well with the same result - relief.
I come back to my initial instruction I received: to ask of all guidance I receive, whether it is right for me or not, whether it causes me suffering. If it does, I must either stop the activity or find another way of approaching it. And this must be done fearlessly, with discipline.
Had I asked myself this question fearlessly, I would not have been deceived by my mind's response that I was guided to do these things, but would have said that since I am feeling frustrated and suffer, these activities are not good for me and if I am guided to do them, I must find a different way of approaching them,
Putting my mind in its place has enabled me to experience a faith in god/Buddha/the universe that is absolute. It and only it is the source of my supply of well-being, of sanity, not things or places or money or the gyrations of my mind. Removing myself from this habit-energy has actuated my faith and made it possible to truly say, "your will, not my mind's."
More posts will follow.
May you experience peace and happiness.