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The Fine Art of Discernment...

I usually know what to do.  I don’t always do it, but I usually know what to do.  In work, in my personal life.  I have a good inner balance for the most part.  I am not easily swayed by frothy emotional appeals, made by me or others.  I am capable of stepping back from the edge, and evaluating the landscape for potential landmines.

So when I find myself in a place of not knowing what to do, it really trips me up.  I am usually very decisive and do not spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about being wrong...that is how sure I am right most of the time.  And I don’t mean RIGHT, I just mean right for me. 

I live with a certain level of confidence that I will have my own back, do what is right for the situation, that I will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle me.  And today, I just do not know.  A lot.  I am baffled by two current situations and I do not know what to do.  My discernment is compromised by the emotional ties in one situation and the legal machinations and attendant uncertainty in the other.  I can see just as many arguments for as I can against.

What to do?

I guess the best I can do today in both situations is go for the most loving response...which is if the answer isn’t yes, it is no.  If I cannot squarely land in the place where I believe that forward action is the right thing, all things considered, then I should probably wait.  

It is so hard to wade through the many and varied sinews of thought and argument (for and against) and land solidly on Tierra Firma.  Emotional landscapes are not certain, they zig and zag all over the place causing our footing to be precarious.

In the one scenario I know the love is there and I can lead with that.  In the other, while love is not the operating emotion, discernment is.  And I can know, and do know that the best thing when I am unsure about a legal consequence, the best thing is to wait for more information.  And while that doesn’t relieve the anxiety of knowing for sure, it does create some respite, a space to take a breath before moving forward.

Discernment is tricky.  How exactly am I supposed to judge well?  Such a subjective thing.  Such an amazingly hard thing.  I am so glad I don’t have to do that for a living, except in some cases, I do.  I have to judge cases every single day, the relative merit or lack thereof.  The need for careful consideration matched up with the legal machinations and process.  Knowledge will always only get me so far.

I know today that I have the ability to wait.  I know I have the ability to discern and that has served me well in this life so far.  There is never really a right or wrong.  There is always only a selection of consequences.  Real and imagined.  And sometimes, I cannot fathom what will happen next no matter how much knowledge, information and assessment I include and indulge.

When discernment fails, I must go within.  I must go within myself to where truth for me resides, my truth.  No one else’s truth.  To be in a place where I can be still and quiet and allow what is true and right and real and often hard to manifest.  To well up within me and find expression in some thought, idea or belief.  And to trust that when I am willing to withstand my own discomfort, to face whatever truth I want to avoid, to own whatever fear is lingering at the periphery of my insight to come into being, I am given what I need to move forward.  But never until I request to have revealed to me that which I am often most afraid.

Discernment requires bravery and heart.  The ferocity of being willing to accept truth, no matter what that truth might be.  Sometimes a beautiful gift we did not see coming, and other times a nasty, heartbreaking revelation that changes the trajectory of all we hold most dear and cherished.  Loving and living requires that of us.  All of us.  Every day, this preserving ferocity that can only be mollified and pacified with life’s ever changing landscape of action, inaction and consequence.



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