Much of our lives are concerned with right and wrong. Should I take this job? Should I eat this dessert? Should I go to that event this weekend? Is this the right gift to buy? Is this the right thing? Do I really have to listen to this person? Is this the right school to attend? Do I really have to apologize?
Often I ask these questions and either tie myself up in knots or even choose something that certainly does not feel like the right choice when all is said and done.
What if there are different questions we can be asking when faced with decisions and problems?
What if we were asking questions such as:
- Does this choice lead me closer to or further from God and others?
- Will this decision lead me towards community or isolation?
It is often easiest for us to hide or run or attack or isolate ourselves and say it's "right," rather than doing the work of living with honesty and vulnerability. Yet how often, when we risk being known and seen, when we move towards others, do we find a surprising joy? More often, I'd think, than what our fearful hearts tell us to expect: shame, silence, or a sense of loneliness.
What if we find the "right" in seeking to open our hearts? In choosing to live so that our hearts soften and grow? What if what we call self-preservation is just isolation, a hardening and shrinking of our hearts?
What if we must lose our lives to save them, and it's our self-preservation that is killing us?