How do you make big decisions? Do you discuss all the options with family and friends? Make long lists of pros and cons? Research all the ramifications?

While these may be useful steps, they may not bring the clarity necessary to make a confident decision. What's needed is spiritual light.

We hope you'll find that the prayers, spiritual study, and healing experiences authors share in this column help bring the right choices and truly satisfying decisions to light in your life.

"Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take." MARY BAKER EDDY

Are you giving yourself away?

I RECENTLY saw the movie Notting Hill, the story of a glamorous international film star who falls in love with an attractive but unknown owner of a small bookshop in London—the Cinderella story in reverse. After the ups, downs, and arounds of a tumultuous courtship, they are married and, according to the last scene of the film, live happily ever after. As the couple navigates through the relationship's choppy waters, we are given two implicit messages: one, that this man and this woman are miserable and unfulfilled without each other; and two, that this relationship stuff is very difficult indeed.

Afterward, as I squinted into the afternoon-sun-filled street, I thought about the film's message and why people are so attracted to the quintessential boy-meets-girl, boy-gets-girl love story. Relationships and marriages should certainly involve deep love, affection, joy, and sharing that foster the growth of the individuals and serve society as well. But the romantic myth in its various forms is often based on a shallow, material concept of heaven on earth, of what constitutes fulfillment, of life in the Garden of Eden resumed. It also implies that those deprived of such an experience are missing out.

March 27, 2000

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