There’s a lovely couple of sentences in Isaiah which suggest that even if times are tough we can be guided. It continues: ‘And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying , “This is the way; walk in it “‘.
Sometimes it’s really unclear what action to take or what to do… and sometimes the inner voice of God or the wise part of ourselves is unclear. I think I’ve begun to learn that the Quaker process of discernment can be really helpful. I suppose it’s being reflective. Quakers usually do it in a group so there’s a chance for different perspectives to be raised and heard without interruption or opposition and I think this can happen inside oneself too in the sense of allowing oneself to really allow alternatives to have their time and space to be heard. On Monday night I was at a CPD meeting put on by The Analytic Network, it was about something called Internal Family Systems but was about a dialogue taking place with different parts of the self but in the company of an experienced facilitator who kept his eye on what was happening. The person doing this was mostly silent though on the recording we watched you could see the internal shifts in their face and body. I imagine that over time the process could become internalised so you wouldn’t need the facilitator. That would be like self-analysis …but my experience of that is that it is only too easy to deceive oneself about what is happening. Perhaps deep contemplative prayer and really listening and then emptying the mind is the only way and how hard that is too, especially if one is anxious about what path to take.