A family member of mine was recently faced with a very tough decision. She had to decide whether or not she should take an opportunity that may help her educational pursuits.
If she decided to go, she would risk upsetting the wishes of her parents. When she called and asked me for my advice, I sat quietly and listened. We talked through the pros and cons, I played devil’s advocate and we looked at all of the options. I worked hard not to press my personal opinion on the situation or allow myself to project on what she was going through. It was tough!
In the end I think the best suggestion I could give her was to “sit with it.” She was a bit confused at first. Wasn’t all the talking and mental gestation “sitting with it” enough? To clarify, I asked her to sit in a quiet space, take a few long deep breaths and ask her question out loud—“what should I do? Do I stay or do I go?” Then I told her, don’t jump to any quick conclusion and don’t try to fill in the silence with reasoning, instead, sit with the question and allow it to marinate. Try not to judge or explain your way through in order to get the answer, instead, allow the answer to come to you. The next time we spoke she had made a decision and felt clear and good about the choice she made.