In a comment to a post of BitchPhD’s where she wonders whether or not to stay in academia, Pronoia writes of a fascinating way to figure out which choice is right for you:

When my wife was in discernment for the convent (long story), she learned Ignatian discernment, which teaches that the places we’re called to go give us great peace in our hearts, even if it’s otherwise difficult. To discern, you should live for 24 hours as if you’re making one decision, and pay attention to how you feel. You should live for another 24 hours with the other decision, and pay attention to how you feel. The decision in which you feel interior freedom and peace is the right decision for you.

I know when I’ve made the right choice. It’s the time before you’ve chosen that’s painful. I’m not sure whether I’d be able to truly live 24 hours as though I’d already chosen knowing that I hadn’t, really, but I think I’ll try.

Not now. I’m not in doubt right now, I’m sure about the big things.

1 Comment

  1. Norman

    As someone who wandered through life devoid of ambition, and having most of my jobs resulting from approaches made by others, rather than deciding to go for them myself, I’m either completely unqualified to comment on this sort of decision making, or unusually objective about it. Allowing for that, I’d suspect the approach described was appropriate mainly for the sort of decision being made by those contemplating cutting themselves off from the world. I suspect, Jill, that you’re not ready for that?
    When it comes to decision making, we have to hope we possess the ability to make decisions quickly [and reasonably well] then learn to never look back in regret, anger, or any other negative emotion. Although the ability to dismiss past errors from your thoughts may well be less generously distributed than it could.

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