By definition, discernment is the ability to judge well (Einsicht / discernimiento) in the hope of obtaining the right insight. Many associate this process with spirituality or spiritual growth, but I prefer to use the word in the context of life-changing decisions.
Admittedly, I am a very impulsive person, but not reckless (well, not THAT reckless). A lot of thinking and planning goes on in my jumbled brain before I take action, but when I do make up my mind any action has to be immediate, no more beating around the bush. I get this peculiar habit from my mother and it drove her up the wall that my Dad still pondered over things even after he had made up his mind! This is how many of my turning points in life have taken place, immediate action, devil-may-care attitude, unafraid of the unknown.
I have reached another crossroad in my life wherein I need to discern which is the right path to take, and what the consequences or difficulties will be. As I shared with a friend, I have the blessed situation of the world being my oyster after the divorce, and as such am free to create or re-create as I please. The two years in Berlin thus far have confirmed the classic Heraclitus wisdom: nothing is permanent except change. It is never too late to start something new in life, and I certainly won´t allow anyone to tell me that I am too old, short, fat, unfit, old-fashioned, etc. to walk a new path. I love the fact that some people are willing to take up the challenge of newness in their lives, thereby forsaking all traditional anchors. So what if you are going to move away from your comfort zone in your 60s, or finish that book in your 70s, or go sky diving in your 80s. It is your life and your memories.
Discernment is one of my best friends, and is often the voice of reason that pulls me back from dangerous and impulsive behaviour. I close today’s reflection with this end with this
“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas
as in escaping from old ones.”
John Maynard Keynes