I’m finding that it’s not so much what you do in life that counts, but rather the emotions behind what you do that matters. I think emotions are energetic indicators of the dissonance versus resonance between our actions and our beliefs about our actions. Sometimes we try to override what our emotions are telling us, but this ultimately fails, because life responds to our energy, not our words.
If an action is done out of a feeling of anger, fear, hate, unappreciation, etc. then that will be reflected back, even if we try to justify it. People can have funny ways of trying to justify their actions, but life always reflects back what we put out. If you look at the conditions of your life, and see it as a reflection of your emotional and mental output, you’ll get a clear picture of what kind of energy you’re projecting.
My big realization is that emotion/energy comes first, not the other way around. Emotion is the horse, and the cart is the cart, so put the horse (or emotion) before the cart. Something done in appreciation, enthusiasm, happiness, joy, and love will lead to situations where that energy is reflected back. Things that are done with a sense of anxiety, hesitation, obligation, and worry are, at the heart of it, fearful, and life will be a fearful place to live.
The key isn’t to override your emotions with justifications or reasons, but rather to actually feel your emotions and see the corresponding reflection and response from life. I think this is the best way to gain wisdom. A good example is the way animals and little children don’t really care about what you have to say, but instead they respond to your energy. Some people have learned how to disguise and be manipulative with their energy, and this is where emotionally sensitive people actually have an advantage, because they can sense insincerity and the true emotions behind the words. That is, unless they’ve bought into the idea that it’s bad to be emotionally sensitive, but that’s another topic.