“Her great merit is finding out mine – there is nothing so amiable as discernment.” — Lord Byron via BrainyQuote.com
Ah, Lord Byron. Seductive, self-serving, impulsive, yet self-aware and capable of inspiring great good. The quote above has just the right amount of irony and humor. We tend to like people who also like us. Aren’t THEY brilliant?
As I searched for images for this post, most of them related to discernment are clearly related to decision-making. This road, not that one. People obviously in the midst of making weighty and correct judgments. What struck me about Lord Byron’s observation was deeper and more nuanced. It was that “She” could see his merits – his good qualities, the very best of the essential “Him,” imperfect and, well, Byronic, as he was.
Quakers might say that She was able to perceive “that of God” in Byron. This is beyond giving people the benefit of the doubt, or looking for the good in everything and everyone, or other such platitudes, even though those ideas are pretty good. Perceiving “that of God in everyone” requires not that we pick them apart, keeping that which is of God and discarding the rest. Instead, we accept the whole glorious, amazing mess of that person, and then focus on, speak to, relate with, that person as if God Him/Her/Self – The and Their Inner Light – were actually present within. Because it IS.
In a complex or controversial conversation, discernment requires listening through the emotions, the wanderings off point, and the personalities to find the needle of truth in a proverbial haystack of clutter. Assume that somewhere, if you really listen and look, that a hidden treasure is in there. Who would stop looking for a treasure that they knew was right in front of them? And yet, we do. All the time.
Lord Byron was clearly deLIGHTed to be perceived in such a way. It lit him up. When someone discerns my Light, I am drawn to them, and more easily discern the Light within them. Discernment in this way results in harmony, in love, in patience, and in peace.
When have you perceived someone’s Inner Light? Did it change the quality of your interaction? When do you recall a feeling that someone perceived your Inner Light? What effect did that have upon you? Please leave a comment.