Thinking Yourself Into a Corner
Sometimes my mind gets caught up in a question that I don’t have the answer for, it circles and circles the question seeking relief. As I was driving to Arizona from Colorado a couple of weeks ago, I had a lot of time to ponder a question that was stumping me. While struggling to find the answer, I became aware of my unconscious belief that God had the right answer and wanted me to act in accordance with it. I could not see past whatever blocks were in my mind to a clear choice for myself. I started to get frustrated.
At this point of frustration, I was reminded of something I’d seen my dog Bisbee do shortly after I adopted him as a two-year old. He’s a border collie programmed through generations of breeding to herd. He wants to roundup everything that moves, to keep it in control so he can feel at peace. On several of Bisbee’s first trips in a car he got manic about herding the cars that were driving by. He wanted to chase them so bad that more than once he wedged himself between the driver’s seat and the door with his nose firmly pressed in the crack of the dashboard and windshield, every muscle in his body rigid. I felt like Bisbee in my desire to have an answer to the question. My analytical mind was locked into the belief that there was a right answer with intense focus on trying to figure it out. I experienced the sensation of being pressed into a corner. I wasn’t getting anywhere. Finally, it dawned on me that there was no right answer. This question I was asking was really not about right or wrong, good or bad, but simply a choice regarding what I wanted to create with my life. The Universe or God didn’t really care whether I went this way or that. Either path would result in a set of experiences that would be my life.
As I drove through the wide open blue skies of New Mexico, I remembered the words of my spiritual mentor, Dawn Eagle Woman “hold a spacious field.” I started visualizing an expansive amount of space around my question and the people that would be impacted by my choice. I looked from horizon to horizon, consciously offering the question and each person involved as much room as I could physically see in the sky. An expansiveness that wasn’t attached to an answer but simply let the question exist.
When the analytical mind kicks in to respond to questions of the heart, it can push us into a corner and imprison us with the effort of trying to figure it out when there is no right answer. We may choose to act based on our vision of the life we are interested in experiencing or wait for the moment when we encounter an option that we easily respond to with yes. Engaging the mind in these situations is simply trying to control the unknown, a fruitless endeavor. Our intuition is present to guide us in questions of the heart and teach us the gentler path of freedom and trust in the natural flow.
I can relate to what you’re saying about trying to analyzed our way to a “right” decision about the future. One thing that helps me let go of the circular search for just the right answer or solution is believing that God’s character never changes. He loves me, cares about me and supports me no matter what decision I make about the future. I think God is more interested in our character development, such as patience, trust and honesty than making exactly the right decision. One of the hardest things I’m learning is to be content, right here, right now. Waiting patiently helps the best choice to be made when the time is right for it.
Two old maxims: KISS, keep it simple stupid and Yogi Berra’s: when you come to the fork in the road take it.