I’m not one who enjoys the details. I never have been. As a computer programmer, I loved the metadata and the data structures themselves. As a Reiki practitioner, I work far more with the subtle body and emotions than I do with physical ailments. As a writer, I am more Vonnegut than Faulkner. I guess steering the bigger ship has just always made more sense to me than micro adjustments or focusing on the material cause and effect.
Recently, I’ve been watching two people I respect a great deal grappling with fairly sticky decisions. In speaking with both of them about their respective situations, it occurred to me that the guidance I was giving each really boiled down to the same thing…
There are two types of decisions you can make: those based on fear of a perceived attack on your well being, and those based on your path and your core values — your lighthouses, if you will. Rarely do these two converge, and when they do, one could argue that you’ve already lost your way.
(Or you’re under some sort of actual physical assault, which is an entirely different story)
Fight/flight/freeze or love. Red/orange or green. Service to self or to others. Separation or unity.
No matter which decision you make, you are entering into an agreement with that situation, institution or behavior about its existence and its fundamental characteristics. You are consciously altering its metadata — and your own — with your engagement, no matter which direction you choose.
Now, I’m far from perfect and still very much learning these lessons like everyone else, but the best way I’ve found to handle these situations is to really take pause, come back to the moment, breathe, and bring to your conscious mind the Knowing that there truly is nothing to fear. There can be no attack without agreement at some level that you are the victim.
Now, change the game, and ask yourself for the bearing to your lighthouse. It’s always still there, shining and waiting for you if you simply pause and ask the quiet voice. The answer is sure to become clear then. If it doesn’t, pause and repeat the steps above until the situation dissipates or clarity comes.
Congratulations. You’ve just transmuted negative potential, and kept on your path. You’ve also modeled positive, mindful direction for all people, places and things involved, changing their metadata to include positive outcome and intention. This is “the work” in action.
When you are in your Knowing, you always, always, always have a choice. When you Know you have a choice, you always, always, always have clarity. And, as one friend put it, “when you have that moment of clarity, you are obligated to act upon it.”