Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: September 27, 2004

Hard Decisions

Navigating the waters of life sometimes confronts us with difficult choices, which are not black and white but make their appearance in tangles of gray. Worse still, the pros and cons of such choices seem to change from day to day in response to our changing view of the considerations and ramifications. In the face of such situations, large or small, we may be paralyzed into inaction and just live by habit and momentum, which will sometimes be exactly the wrong choice. Or we may be pressured into acquiescence by forces around us, which we later regret. Or we dive in head first without enough understanding of what’s below the surface. We may luck into appropriately responding to what turns out to be a golden opportunity, or we may miss that window.

The decisions we make in the face of uncertainty and conflicting motivations can determine the course of our life. We can and usually should seek counsel from friends and others with experience; good advice certainly can help inform our deliberations. But if we let others make our decisions for us, we lose a precious piece of our freedom. No one knows our total situation as well as we do. We can search our own heart for guidance, but typically only find what we put there. So we are left with making a hard choice, one that may seem to be a loser whichever way we go.

Yet such decisions define us and form us. They express our uniqueness and, by reflection, the uniqueness of the One. This is precisely why we should not abdicate our personal life decisions to someone else, not to a friend, a therapist, a professional advisor, nor to a spiritual mentor. While we may ask for advice, to fully develop our soul, we need to make our own life decisions and, yes, our own mistakes. Then we take full responsibility for the consequences and sometimes reap the benefits.

An important part of our inner work is to squarely face those situations which require a decision. Choice and decision are aspects of will, and our will, at its core, arises from the Divine Will. So choosing with wisdom and compassion strengthens our true channel to what really matters.

For this week, look at the hard choices in your own life, particularly ones you may be avoiding. The buck stops with each of us.



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