Friday, May 7, 2010

What our decisions reflect...

Though our days are growing longer, the sunsets still pass quickly. So when I spotted these colors in the water beyond my living room window, I had to make a quick decision: run upstairs and open the blinds in the room where my husband and daughter were watching TV, or go out on the deck and capture the beauty with my camera. There just wasn't time to do both.

As you can see, I elected to go out with my camera (so much for family loyalty!) So what were the motives behind that choice? What were the factors -- the values, and the knowledge -- that influenced this decision? How many times a day are we making similar split-second decisions and choices, and what are they telling us about ourselves?

I am reading about ethics and morality this morning in Essential Spirituality, and I am also in the throes of writing the call for ECVA's next exhibit in the Baptismal Covenant series, which will be on the subject of peace and justice. So I'm unusually conscious right now of what goes into the choices we make, and how the motives as well as the choices can influence results and outcomes.

Somehow, in that context, my mantra for the week -- "May I be joyful, peaceful, loving and kind" -- has become, instead of a way to promote compassion, a sort of wedge between my spiritual self and my worldly self. It's an unexpected response, but something I definitely need to look at: some part of me has stepped aside and is accusing the mantra-chanting self of being a pie-eyed, impractical liberal. Which was not at all what I thought -- and hoped -- would happen.

But the part of me that's contemplating a step back into the corporate world -- even though I wanted to do that specifically to bring these values into the workplace -- is definitely doing some eye-rolling and muttering under its breath.

Sigh. Perhaps that's exactly why I need to be on this path: perhaps in spending time with both those sides of me and working to reconcile the two, I am participating in some larger reconciliation. But I confess that if I'm struggling that much within myself it's hard to take the next step in the lovingkindness meditation and wish these characteristics on the people and the world around me.

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