WildeRose Guest House
November 4, 2011
How Are Decisions Made? (Part II)
“If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.”
-- source unknown
Ideally, here is how I make decisions: I gather the most complete set of facts and information available; then, using my reason and logic, (left brain) I consult further with my intuition and imagination, (right brain) and I select a course of action from an array of possibilities that best serves my highest ideals.
I said “ideally” because that is how I believed decisions “should” be made. However, as a result of this recent cross-country trip with my daughter, Viveka, I have had the opportunity to observe my decision-making process in slow motion over the past few months. I have concluded that I very rarely have the opportunity to make the “ideal” kinds of decisions. In fact, I’m not even sure that I make decisions at all, although very often I do exercise my preferences, and seek consensus with others. What I have called decisions in the past are merely the means I use to keep myself believing that I am in control. And I am not.
Am I a fatalist, then? Do I believe in predestination? No, neither of those. But I have seen that my so-called free will is limited to a very simple kind of choice: not what actually happens -- for that is determined by forces far more complex than I could possibly command or control -- but only what attitude I assume about what actually happens, i.e. what I make it mean. That is what I can control. And only that. I have direct control over my happiness when I choose or “decide” to accept it all with gratitude and joy, and learn the lesson that reality is affording me in this now moment. What a privilege! This is what I call “practicing the art of the possible,” a concept given me by a wise Guatemalan woman, Yoland Trevino.
That is why, as the adventure unfolded I grew less and less fearful and appalled by circumstances that threatened our progress, and more and more amused and delighted with the seeming obstacles that turned up in our path, for example a sudden death in the family of our driver (which called him away unexpectedly); our rejection / banishment by 1/2 of our team members; our vehicle’s mechanical failures; and the difficulties we had in keeping to our “schedule.”
Because of the people we met and the relationships we formed, very often it was no simple matter to say goodbye and move on. It was as though we could not leave certain places until we were “released” from them. That was certainly the case with Sedona and the Santa Fe, Kansas City areas.
So we came to ask ourselves: “Who” or “what” is calling the shots and doing the “releasing”? As we surrendered more and more to “Divine Order” and “Divine Will,” which we often referred to as “The Divine Feminine” or “Divine Mother” we found that our path was strewn with blessings. Amazingly fortuitous things happened every day to convince us that we were living out a script or a plan that we could not possibly have devised. And it was all designed to provide me with an opportunity for optimum, joyful spiritual growth.
But the grandest obstacle of all was encountered in Kentucky in August when my adversarial relationship with my son-in-law flared up. This brought up all of my issues of personal heartbreak from childhood involving my mistrust of men, and brought to the forefront my need to work on my own shadow and heal my wounded inner child. (See blogs entitled “Tantrum Yoga,” and “Golden Wedding Day.”)
* * *
The successful completion of the walk and the inner gifts I received from Spirit as a result, coupled with the work with Andrew Harvey at his Sacred Activism retreat in Oak Park IL early in October have given my life a new sparkle and verve. What I am learning is to live my life more consistently and consciously from the inside out, taking into account the rich array of options in front of me. It is as though half of me is sensitive to the beauty in things -- I’ll call that the feminine part -- and the other half is sensitive to the truth of things -- I’ll call that the masculine part. There had been unnecessary misunderstanding up to now about the nature of these two ways of appreciating reality. But, as with the ages-old conflict between religion and science, there now appear to be ways to reconcile these alienated partners -- who actually started out side by side on the path to human knowledge.
Just as science and religion are attempting to answer different questions: the how and what (science) as opposed to the why and wherefore (religion) so the “masculine” and “feminine” parts of my make-up are giving me two different versions of human value. But I am now clear that one is not more “valuable” than the other. They must work in partnership as the poet John Keats suggested in his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”:
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -- that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
I can only begin with myself. My heart is both an art studio and a science laboratory for this grand experiment.