Your inner beacon offers you direction

Published: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at 11:03 p.m.
When we hike through the wilderness and see a bright light, it gives us a sense of direction and faith. We're not in the wilderness, though! Most of us hike in the city of lights - or options - and all the lights vie for our attention. Some scream; some whisper in a soft glow.
Sometimes we can see through the glow from a distance and save ourselves a hike and a broken ankle or heart. Other times, it seems we have to get close enough to handle the light -- whether it's an alluring person, a career or a sports car - before we know whether it's what we want. That's why we meander our way along a winding path, rather than travel a straight one.
Why not enjoy as many "lights" as we have time for? The journey, after all, is going to last a lifetime regardless.
The idea, though, is to stay focused on the brightest light, or your truth, the essence of who you are, your values and beliefs, your sense of purpose.
That way, your meandering moves you toward your truth. The lights you visit are meaningful stops along the way, rather than misguided diversions. They are beautiful encounters that refresh you and prepare you for the next leg of your journey.
When you lose sight of the bright light and wander off, you get lost! And it's easy to lose all sense of direction with lights flickering on every side.
That bright light is not just out there somewhere, though. It's inside. We can feel it even when we can't see it. We can close our eyes and quiet our minds; we can shut out the distractions and reconnect with our core. Maybe that means meditating, maybe it means sailing or walking.
We can feel the truth, the quiet strength that has always been there for us. Maybe the feeling is tied to your dad's favorite saying or your grandma's diligence. Maybe it's tied to a favorite teacher who believed in you and encouraged you to act on your truth.
God wrote his laws on your heart. They can't get misplaced. And nobody can take them away from you. You're never really lost as long as you have the light inside, as long as you have an internal beacon or compass.
You can feel lost, you can appear lost, you can ramble on and stumble as though you are lost. But you are never really lost even when you get temporarily derailed by a charming smile, a promising business opportunity or a ranch in Montana.
Life is full of perfectly wonderful options that don't reflect your essence. Some of them are for other people. If you stay tuned to your truth, you're less apt to confuse it with somebody else's, less apt to want to trade it for somebody else's.
The key is to nurture your truth, the deep stillness, the God, the love within. You may stray, but you'll find your way back. You'll recognize your truth, remember the feeling and embrace it again.
You'll know the direction and faith that only come from your truth. Whether you're a compassionate doctor or a single mom committed to your kids (or both), you'll know that you are on your path. And each light along the way will be more than a coincidental connection.
There is no path more beautiful than yours for you and that will become impeccably clear as you continue moving in the direction of your beacon.
Jan Denise Soroka is a columnist, author and speaker. E-mail her at, or visit her Web site at

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