Guidance, Leadership, Logic, Purification, Courage and Discernment
Pause and Consider…
After an encounter with one of our leaders yesterday I noticed I was bummed out – anxious, uneasy, and pulled off my center. It was but a mild “conflict” to be sure, but I was hooked in my own patterned behavior of worry and anxiety. This is what I took into my meditation time Thursday morning.
As I sat with and examined the issue I realized that the position I was taking seemed to be coming from a place of guidance in me. I was not, out of fear, conveying and defending the opinions of other leaders who were involved in this matter. In fact I had influenced other leaders from my place of “intuitive sense,” or, what seems to me to be from my guidance, as I understand guidance. So I could then see that my encounter was my intuitive sense vs. that of the other leader.
I noticed that my first avenue of defense when challenged by the other leader in this matter was one of fear. I was afraid to state simply that this was my inner guidance speaking. I also dismissed my inner guidance as of little value and turned to logic, trying to “explain” my guidance. Oh there were reasons for my position to be sure, but as soon as I started defending myself from my sense of logic I was in my head and became ungrounded and even more flustered and anxious.
Isn’t it interesting how quickly I turn to logic in a kind of debate stance – as if logic were the only true basis of “winning” my position over that of another? And how in our culture “logical” “debate” appears to be the only “true” ground on which to do battle? I have only to offer up our presidential campaign debates as an example. I noticed that in such matters I can spend hours weaving complex but hopefully convincing logical arguments rather than simply tapping into my sense of inner wisdom and guidance.
Of course I had the advantage of authority in this matter and could have played my authority card from a position of Self-Will. Retrospectively this feels even weaker and farther from the truth. And yet I imagine that unconsciously this is the card I finally played, and it was this act of dishonesty and self-betrayal that left me with an unsavory taste in my mouth over this incident.
I noticed that a leader’s job is to lead, and that true leadership comes from the gut (intuitive sense) and heart (passion) and not so much from the mind (rational logic). Leadership takes courage and depends upon being passionate about a cause I feel is purposeful and meaningful. I noticed also that I am thwarted in my passion and sense of meaningfulness by my sense that how we are doing Pathwork at Sevenoaks is not the Pathwork I relate to wholeheartedly. So I bring some ambivalence to the table in my role as Chair of the Pathwork Council and elsewhere in Sevenoaks leadership.
But here again my ambivalence is due in part to my lack of courage to stand for what I believe, from my gut and heart, needs to be in play in Pathwork at Sevenoaks. Rather than stand for what I believe in, I weaken in the face of battle, battles that deep down I seem to feel called to lead. Yes, courage is needed to carry the flag of leadership. Courage to be totally faithful to my deepest calling.
But there is discernment required for this as well. I could fall prey to motivations that I rationalize as coming from inner guidance but are actually coming, at least in part, from fear, pride, or self-will.
And it could be that guidance from two different people could be different and still be valid in some way. So the next step is perhaps self-examination and purification – assuring myself that my guidance is clean, that is, mostly free of lower-self pride, self-will, and fear. And then, finally, my and the other person’s task is one of objectively seeing the guidance of each other and being open to integrating these seemingly different paths of guidance in such a way that a still higher state of guidance manifests. When I am still unpurified I cannot even hear the other person’s guidance, and something that wants to manifest is lost by my taking a one-sided approach.
What a lesson for me! I pray for wisdom, courage, and discernment.
Shared with love, Gary