Monday, January 25, 2010

Making the (right) Choice

I have made many changes in my life, some small and subtle, some ferocious and forever.  But most of those changes have been about walking away from what didn't work.  Which I am expert at.  Walking away that is.  I have been attached more to G*d and my own personal freedom than just about anything else, and so walking away was always wrapped in the illuminating halo of choosing the spiritual over the mundane.

And I've ended up in some really interesting places with some wonderful folks by leaving where I had been.  I will never think that sticking it out just for the sake of doing so is any kind of virtue.  But recently I ran up against a situation that I didn't like and didn't think could work, and knew I needed to at least remind myself that opportunity is always available, and that change is always out there waiting for me, like a sometimes lover, no expectation, but plenty of encouragement.

And after getting my bearings, I decided to do what I almost never do, and that is to see if there wasn't some way to figure it all out and make it work. Before, I'd either commit to something on the basis of pure faith, certain that it would work because it had to work.  Or I'd head in another direction, certain it wouldn't work because it didn't work.

But this has been completely different.  And I think this is part of what happens maybe when you grow up a bit and stop defending your rightness as your most valuable asset.  What happened was that I explained myself and my concerns and talked the situation through carefully and thoughtfully, and decided that staying might be very interesting.

That staying would require an level of engagement and cooperation and openness that I have never freely offered to anyone or anything here on planet earth, but that would be the perfect kind of challenge and opportunity that I needed.  It would require that I get involved and pay attention and actually listen to others and give value to what they had to say.  And that in doing so, I could make things better for everyone right where I was, instead of making things better for myself by leaving.

This is likely only radical sounding if you are as certain as I have often been that other people are mostly a nuisance.  And it's got me thinking that other people might in fact be important in my life in so many ways, and I might be potentially important in their lives as well.  And while G*d may be first, He's not first last and everything in between.  And I think He's totally cool with that.   I think He's been trying to get me to notice that for a loooooong time.

So I didn't decide to stay because my situation is perfect.  I decided to stay because it's my situation and I'm excited about what I'm learning by staying in the middle of it.  I'm learning how to use my words to say what I mean and mean what I say, and then stop talking and get to back to doing and being.  

Faith has guided my steps in this life at every turn.  This time it's faith in what's real and human and doable, and faith in myself.  I never had such grounded faith before, and I gotta say it feels pretty good.

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