Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Prompt: We live in a society of advice columns, experts and make-over shows. Without even knowing it, you can begin to believe someone knows better than you how to live your life…For today, trying asking yourself often, especially before you make a choice, “What do I know about this?” (Author: Jen Louden)
I Know This
Here’s what I know about this. Before making a choice about many things, a taste of anxiety, tidbits of fear and thoughts of “what do I know” seep into my psyche. To choose is difficult, tedious and risky.
To find out “what do I know” and don’t know, I set out on a search. I list the pros and cons of choosing one direction over another. If I can’t develop a list, I realize how little I know. With limited knowledge, I continue my search. I read, research, and reach out to other voices and views. I expose myself to knowledge. My mind takes it in and lets it simmer. I sit still in silence and think. Some times stillness overcomes me for a few minutes, other times a few days. My ruminating is limited only by a deadline–mine or another’s. Then somewhere in the stillness of constant thought, a spark lights the way and I know. It may hit me when I’m alone during the blackness of night or the brightness of dawn. It may hit while attending a major league football game or at a crowded concert. When it hits, I know the choice I must make.
Once I know what to do, “what if” begins to infiltrate my thoughts. Yet, I rely on “the integrity of my mind.” I let go. And I am comforted knowing self-reliance guides me to do the right thing in the right way at the right time.
Flo, I wish I could always do what you do, but I don’t. Sometimes I can’t find the serenity to do that. I have too much think and feel flow going on and need to actively detach myself.
Anyway, thank you for sharing and describe the process.
Thanks for your comments. We all have different rhythms, plans and pacing, but the same destination—becoming and getting there. We’ll succeed because we haven’t given up—we continue to try.
I feel I ought to leave a comment because this is in such stark contrast to my own decision-making (usually). I can see the wisdom of the process you describe and have used a ‘pros and cons’ approach when trying to decide whether to sign a tenancy agreement for a new rental property, for example, or something similar.
But for most of my choices I follow my gut feeling, which I tend to trust more deeply. Your post reminds me of what you say in your reply to Michi’s comment: that we’re all different; such a truism and yet so easy to forget.
Eventually, we all engage the “auto pilot” of the soul. The only question is “when.” Nice take on the subject!