Be Your Own R E F U G E

Joan Marques - Ed.D., MBA.
Burbank, California

No matter how many souls surround you everyday, and regardless of the intensity of your connection to them, there is one main connectedness that determines your entire being and influences your perceptions, behaviors, and performance in every area. That connectedness is the one you have with yourself.

If you think this sounds somewhat ethereal you may be right. But at the same time, it is pretty pragmatic as well. Think, for instance, of the voice inside your head that pops up when you least expect it. In traffic, maybe, when you are about to make a bold move and you suddenly hear "Don't even think about it!" Or at the office when you study the reports on your desk, all clearly pointing in one decisive direction, and yet, there is this voice again telling you, "Wait a little longer. There is something everybody is overlooking here." Or when you are dating someone who seems to meet all your criteria for the perfect life-partner. And yet, this voice warns, "Careful! You are missing something crucial here that may change your mind."

Most of us recognize this voice as "intuition." However, there may be more to it than just that. This is, after all, also the voice that keeps bothering you when you are aware of a dreadful truth that, for some reason, you refuse to share with the right people. That's when this voice is usually referred to as "conscience."

But then there are also those moments when you feel as if you have seen it all, and nothing can improve your circumstances: the weary, devastated moments. Those are the ones through which you become fully aware of your individualism, in spite of the closeness you may have developed with others in your work- or private surroundings. These moments involve intense seclusion, necessary to make you establish the inner-connection that will become your refuge, and that will determine your growth toward greater coping capacity with all further occurrences in your life.

So, what does this inner-connection lead to, and what does it stand for?







Becoming your own refuge is not only a process that happens over time, but one that definitely requires long periods of concentration on yourself: thinking about your purpose in life, constructively using the lonely moments that may occur, evaluating the lessons to be learned from every day, and being unafraid to face even the darkest spots in your character.

But once you have become your refuge, you will find increased fulfillment in all decisions you make: you will sense and implement the right attitude, which is one refrained from antagonism, abhorrence, malice, jealousy, or conceit toward co-workers, competitors, strangers, friends, and family members, and most of all: yourself.