What guides you when the way isn't clear?

Looking toward the headland extending from the Orongorongo range, on Wellington's south coast.  The light of sunrise is reflected in the calm water, but the lighthouse beyond is obscured by the low lying cloud.

Looking toward the headland extending from the Orongorongo range, on Wellington's south coast.  The light of sunrise is reflected in the calm water, but the lighthouse beyond is obscured by the low lying cloud.

Soon it will be a new year.  Where will we be heading?  Who knows?

You may be welcoming the holiday season, or dreading it.  You may have a sense of satisfaction in what you have been able to achieve, or a sense of urgency in trying to get things done.  You may welcome the idea of a fresh start with a new year, or dread the same old wishes and failed resolutions.  You may be struggling with feelings of pessimism and concern for the world, or finding a way to see beyond the problems, and to be energised by the challenges.

You may have a mix of feelings like these.

What sustains us when the future is uncertain?  (and it always is, really)  We might set goals that are disrupted by events and conditions that we can't control.  We can't foresee what will happen.  Mostly we work on assumptions based on our current experience. 

So how do we find our way even when there isn't a clear map?

Consider the guidelines that we use to help us make our decisions day by day.  Often we aren't conscious of them, but we are guided by values, things we consider most important in our lives.  And these will help us to decide what steps to take when the way isn't clear. 

What are the values and priorities that help you and guide your decisions? 

I believe that kindness is a tremendously important guide for us if we seek well being for ourselves, others, and life on this planet. 

What do I mean?  To me this means that we find our direction, despite the way being unclear, with an approach that is:

  • respectful,
  • caring,
  • thoughtful,
  • honest,
  • considerate,
  • actively helpful and accepting of help,
  • with an attitude of goodwill to others.

What do you think?  Is this too vague?  Does it sound unachievable, unrealistic in the face of the stresses in the world?  What are the clouds of uncertainties that you face?  Does kindness figure in your decision-making? 

What and who guides and helps you?   How can you incorporate these principles and people in your life?  How can they be there for you in 2018?

I suggest that you take time to consider these important supports for you, and that you take notes as you think about (or avoid thinking about) the new year.  Keep them as reminders of the things that are really important for you, that will help you to thrive no matter how cloudy and uncertain things might seem to be.

Helen NelsonComment