I’ve currently got a major decision perking through my life and it led me to reflect on decision making and the implications of our decisions.
I have some basic guidelines I’ve been taught that make sense to me on how to make decisions – discernment principles we call them. It all depends on the size of decision of course, but some basic ones for me, for personal decisions are:
- Don’t make major changes when in a place of doubt or desolation. Wait for consolation.
- If I’m living lightly and in an open, loving place with God, a good choice or action will feel like a drop of water on a soft sponge.
- Be honest and open with my needs and the needs of others around me who are affected by my decision.
- Share my decision making with a wise Christian who knows me and listen to their perspective.
- Wait for peace, deep internal peace and the clarity it brings.
These guidelines generally lead me to live thoughtfully, with purpose and clarity. Sometimes my pace is fast, sometimes it is slow, but it tends to be steady. People often describe me as peaceful, yet intense, anchored yet very productive. Such is Anne!
But… another whole intriguing side of decision making to me is the huge ‘what ifs’ that occur or don’t occur. What if I hadn’t said that thing, or written that email or taken that job, or married that person, or lived in that house/apartment….. and on and on and on.
Forty years ago, Hugh and I made a decision in our lives around where to live and raise our family. We decided to not move to Victoria but stay in Toronto. What if we had lived in Victoria? Who would we have met/not met? …… My daughter and her husband made a decision a year ago to raise their family in Paris. What if they’d decided to come to Toronto? How would my life, their neighbourhood, our city, our world be different?
Thomas Merton wrote that each moment in each event of each person’s life plants a seed within their soul. That was one of the life changing bits I received from him. Each decision we make has ripple effects within our own lives, but also the lives around us and the ripples extend out into the universe.
Decision-making ripples. What choices are you making today? May you unhook your Pinball Brain. May they come from a place of quiet and peace within you. (see Nov 29 and Dec 6)
If this is interesting to you, please show support by sharing it with a friend. Let’s broaden the contemplative pathway.
Love and prayers
Mystic in Motion
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada