Saturday, 16 April 2016 00:00

Choosing

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Recently I have been involved in a discussion about difficult choices.

Then, in a great book I am reading by Henning Mankell called 'Quicksand: What it means to be a human being', I read this:

“Even if, later in my life, I have occasionally made wrong choices, I still believe that not making any choices at all is a grave mistake. I am often intrigued by people who just drift along with the mainstream, never questioning aspects of their environment or trying to change things. People are different, and of course that in itself leads to different views about society. But choices that go deeper than that and are about what you intend to do with your life are the most important decisions you will ever have to make – and you must make them.”

Unfortunately the answers are often not evident. Sometimes we can see the goal, like a shining golden place ahead, but the path toward it is shrouded in darkness. Or maybe much must be lost to make the desired gain. And no one is guaranteeing the outcome. Who is to say that even when courage prevails and we make the sacrifice, we will achieve our aim?

At such times, we ask friends and trusted advisors. We write charts full of pros and cons. We cast the dice, we read the tarot, look for signs. We think hard and almost constantly. We don’t sleep so well, spend days and weeks with a churning stomach. We overwhelm ourselves with increasing anxiety.

Any of this familiar?

But mostly, it’s a heart thing, you know. Underneath the whole shebang, when you take time to sit in silence and listen to the quiet voice within, there’s a knowing. You can trust it. You may not get the journey you expected, but you will get a whole new adventure, a whole lot of learning, probably some joy, maybe some tears.

And really, it’s like this:

“When you hear, a mile
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable
pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life
toward it.

(Mary Oliver : West Wind 2)

 

Make the leap, my friend. Feel the rush! And keep your face tilted up to feel the rain too, to watch the light, to see the stars, to be completely present to every moment of this life you have chosen.

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