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Sorting "this" from "that"

Oyster shell with rocks in the background

The sword of discernment is an awesome tool to have tucked away in your scabbard (sword holder).

To have discernment is to be able to judge something appropriately, to comprehend the obscure.

It sounds straightforward, but when you get really honest with yourself, you might find that it's not always so.

Here are a couple of fun metaphors to play with...

The Pearl - When a grain of sand gets inside an oyster, it can cause great irritation. But it's also the start of a pearl. The oyster, through a natural defence mechanism, produces aragonite and conchiolin which coat the grain of sand, rendering it less harmless and creating great beauty all at once.

The Rock - If you're running a marathon and a rock gets in your shoe, you really must stop and get it out. A rock underfoot will cause a lot of pain, bruising, blisters and maybe even draw blood if you keep running on it. Such things must be dealt with promptly.

If something unpleasant has come into your life, or something pleasant has become unpleasant, you could frame it up through either of these metaphors and sell it to yourself.

And either could be appropriate.

The real challenge is in sorting "this" from "that".

'Should I exit this investment?'

'Should I let this employee go?'

'Should I donate this piece of clothing?'

'Should I keep trying to make this job work?'

'Should I keep investing into this relationship?'

'Should I continue loaning my adult child money?'

'Should I finish this study which I'm not gaining much from?'

The questions which can be explored through the lens of these metaphors are seemingly endless.

So, how do we sort "this" from "that"?

How do we know when the pearl metaphor applies, and when we should think about the rock?

I don't have a clear answer for you unfortunately. Because, as mentioned, both can be true. But I will suggest that perhaps it's a useful exercise to take some time to define what is your "this", and what is your "that"?

If it was a pearl, how would this play out?

If it were a rock, how would that play out?

Contemplation is a very useful tool. I wish for you that through your contemplation, should you dare to do it, that you arrive at a sense of conviction around what might be the next logical step for you.

True self-honesty takes an extraordinary amount of discipline. And your sword becomes sharper each time you practise it.

Is it time to start sorting "this" from that"?

Thank you for showing up.

Keep showing up.

P.S. Remember to bring along plenty of grace when meeting these big questions. Generally the resistance in looking and the size of the possibility behind the resistance are positively correlated. It's important to know when to ask for some help with your questions, too. P.P.S. I wrote a post about pearls a while back on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed this week's newsletter, maybe you'll like this too.


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