The big question confronting me now: who do I want to be? What behaviors and attitudes do I value, what behaviors and attitudes do I deplore, and what do I do to exhibit the former and eschew the latter?
I was raised by drama-filled fundamentalist Christians. When the going got tough, they ran to God for answers and aid. You've heard the saying, "Let go and let God." Or as Carrie Underwood sings, "Jesus, take the wheel." I no longer have the comfort of abandoning responsibility like that. If I want to do well, I must endeavor to assume responsibility for everything that is within my power to be responsible for, and to accept with detachment all that isn't. No longer can I simply intone, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Rather, if I want to do well, I must endeavor to maintain the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to choose to change (and work at the changes) the things I can change, and constantly to weigh and discern what I can change and what I cannot. It is on me, and I would do well no longer to slough it off.
At this time I can think of three sources for knowledge and wisdom regarding how I want to live my life. The first is my own life and my own history. What do I like about myself? What good have I done in the past? What have I enjoyed doing? What mistakes have I made that I can learn from?
The second are 'heroes', exemplars I admire for one or more qualities. What are those qualities I admire? How did they deal with the vicissitudes of their individual circumstances? What were their pitfalls, and how could they have avoided them?
The third are books of philosophy, ethics and psychology. What wisdom do they contain about how to live well? What is the best way to be a good person in the world, and still maintain my integrity and individuality? What are some insights into human psychology to help me avoid maladaptive behavior patterns?
Instead of looking outside myself for divine intervention and inspiration, I want to look around myself and within myself for wisdom on how to live.