Is My Compass Facing ‘True North?’

Last month I heard a speaker talked about GOD — Good Orderly Direction. The speaker said that when trying to decipher what is God’s will and what is my own will, to think of the Higher Power as True North on a compass. There is one “True North” and 359 degrees of “me.” If I try my best to always aim for True North, I will be doing the next right thing.

This weekend I made a decision to stay home and not go out with friends because I was tired and have been running around a lot lately. Well, deciding to stay home (isolate) instead of being social fits right into some old habits that I’ve been praying to break. Why pray to God that I develop a social life and real friendships if I’m going to turn down opportunities to do so?

It wasn’t so much the decision to stay home that is dangerous for me; it’s all the Terrorist Brain Chatter that comes after such a decision. “I should have gone … No one will miss me … I could have met new people … Probably no one else showed up … It could have been fun … I would have been bored …” etc. etc. etc. And it’s that chatter which creates anxiety and drives me to eat.

When I made the decision not to go out on Saturday, I prayed that I be at peace with my decision. And I was — mostly.

That night I had two dreams about loneliness and avoiding people. The next morning I was, once again, questioning whether I made the right move by staying home.

Instead making a huge deal of it (and creating anxiety that would eventually lead me to overeat), I decided to examine how this seemingly simple decision is affecting my recovery so that next time I might act differently.

That’s when I realized that I should have gone out, not because I would have had a fabulous time (maybe I would have, but maybe not), but because I decided not to go because I didn’t trust God.

I had decided how the night would go before I ever left the house — there would be awkward conversation … I would meet people that I don’t have a lot in common with … I would feel like I don’t fit in, etc.

Because I didn’t believe that the night was going to be perfect and great, I decided not to go. It was that all-or-none thinking that has gotten me in trouble so many times before.

But the truth is, I don’t know for sure that there wouldn’t have been interesting people to talk to. Even if I didn’t make a big connection with someone, the night wouldn’t have been terrible. I would have talked with people I haven’t seen for a while, had a few laughs, learned a few things and gone home.

God gave me the opportunity to be social, which means that that event was an answer to my prayers. But I turned down the opportunity because the timing didn’t fit my immediate needs.

The other thing I got out of this experience (or non-experience, as the case may be), is that the decision not to go out was not a choice aimed at True North. I was wobbling among several “degrees of me” and was not seeking True North. When I do my best to seek God’s will in every decision of my life, I just feel better about the decisions I make. I don’t worry about if I did the right thing or not because, when I seek God first, He will always lead me to my best self.