Waiting at the Crossroads
Dear Wise One,
Your deep Wisdom Self,
your True Self,
is given to you
to guide your life.
This guidance is called Discernment.
Discernment is different from making choices
about things and actions in your life
where you list the pros and cons
and make a choice.
(Discernment, however, can play a part in the big choices.)
Discernment is about becoming aware of
the deep patterns in your life
what gifts are yours to give the world
what gives you joy and peace
what is life-giving to you.
Discernment, in other words,
is the Way to understanding your answers to
the big questions in your life:
Who am I?
What is my purpose?
How am I to live my life?
Discernment is not a bright light of knowing|
Discernment is more of a diffuse light of seeing…
Seeing with your Heart.
Seeing with your whole self…
Heart, Mind, and very importantly, your Body.
You may recognize this triad
from a previous post:
It is Sophia’s Way
The Way of the Heart
the Way of bringing the Mind
into the Heart to perceive the next step
and then consulting the Body
to see how it literally, physically feels.
This Way of Knowing
happens mainly in dim light,
without the benefit of bright clarity.
Metaphorically we are Standing at the Crossroads
with our guide, our Wisdom Self
Sophia…waiting to discern what is best for us.
We need to wait
in this dim light of not-knowing-for-sure
but trusting that our wisdom will guide us safely.
And eventually it will
if we wait,
if we ask,
if we test,
if we try.
And should we stumble
(which we will)
we trust and know that God
and our Wisdom Self
our True Self
will help us stand again
and try again.
“Pick ourselves up..
Dust ourselves off…
Start all over again!”
(as the song goes)
“Try, Try Again!!”
It is in that Iteration,
that trying again,
that we learn what is true for us
and what is not true for us…
what is life-giving for us
and what is not life-giving for us…
what is ours to give to life and the world
and what is not our gift to give.
That is what Wisdom is about:
seeing the deep life-giving patterns in our life
and gaining confidence and trust
in them through our life-experiences
There are many ways of Discernment.
For now, I would like to offer you one way
that is very beautiful in its simplicity
and has the benefit of a long and tested history.
It first was created by Ignatius of Loyola,
founder of the religious order of the Jesuits.
This simple practice is called
which may sound seriously intimidating
but it is simple and trustworthy
and has been made even more accessible
through modern writers who have applied it to everyday life.
This is the Practice that I want to offer you
as we begin on your Way of Discernment.
A beautiful version of it is found in the book
Sleeping with Bread
If you will, practice it each night for a few weeks or a month
and see what happens internally for you.
There are two questions in the Practice
which the authors of Sleeping with Bread suggest.
The first question is
“For what moment today am I most grateful?”
The second question is
“For what moment today am I least grateful?”
At the end of each day, set aside time, to explore these questions:
“For what moment today am I most grateful?”
Notice what happened in that moment that made it so special.
Name the goodness of that moment and the feelings that go with it.
Breathe in its blessing for at least five minutes or longer…
Then express gratitude for that moment.
Next ask yourself “For what moment today am I least grateful?”
Feel your feelings and resist getting pulled into the story or blame.
Simply notice what drains you of your energy or dims your light.
Bring it into the light of your consciousness.
By naming what drains you, you decrease its ability to hide and hurt you.
You have the light of awareness now and can make choices.
Breathe deeply into your heart and remember that
You are standing with your True Self, your Wisdom-Self,
and Divine Love in this moment and in your life.
Allow the goodness that is you to enter your heart and mind.
Give gratitude for this deeper awareness.
Be open to guidance as you go through your days
allowing each day’s best moment to present itself to you.
You may begin to see a pattern of
what gives you energy, when you most feel alive,
what gives you a sense of peace and happiness,
what gives you a sense of belonging.
These patterns are important: aliveness, peace, freedom, belonging.
Focus on the patterns of light and love and self-recognition as they emerge.
Use them to guide you in the choices you make for your life…
What gives you energy or love? What doesn’t?
This is the beginning of discernment
of what your life’s gifts are and how you are to offer them
to the world and manifest them in your life.
This also is a deepening of friendship with yourself and care for yourself.
So, take your stand at your crossroads with Sophia,
your Wisdom-Self at your side,
explore your questions,
listen for your deep Wisdom’s response,
practice the Examen, notice the patterns,
enjoy the adventure,
know you are accompanied and held in love…
and be well
dear Wise One.
PS: For further information see:
Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life
by Dennis Linn, Shelia F Linn, and Matthew Linn, 1995.
Information on Ignatius of Loyola: