Wisdom these days requires discernment — the ability to see what is not evident to the average mind. Discernment also stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate for you. [my emphasis].
Discernment means you make choices that will include saying no to some people/activities and yes to others — some big (your Hero’s Journey goals) and some small (You’ll help me move, won’t you?). Discernment means you follow your heart with your choices, even if it makes others uncomfortable.
“Choose discomfort over resentment. My mantra reminds me that I’m making a choice that’s critical for my well-being—even if it’s not easy.” – Brene Brown
What the definition of discernment doesn’t tell you is discernment requires space, a beat or a breath or two to find the truth. You may have developed a habit of responding with your default (yes/no), but if you start training yourself to take some beats (you can even count in your head), you will find two things: (1) Unease and discomfort move into that space with a whoosh-speed-sound and (2) You will start making choices more true to yourself.
I live in an area that has relatively low population density, is senior average age, and predominately white. And it’s hot out. Desert hot. We haven’t had any protests. So, today I started doing a very hard thing (for me). When I saw a neighbor out on a morning walk, I asked him what he thought about the BLM protests. I was very uncomfortable, but I knew my discomfort was nothing compared to the fear that I could die just by “walking while black.”
So, I’m going to keep doing it even if my discomfort never goes away.
I realize I have just made the BLM movement about me — an old, white lady who’s trying to do better.