How do we allow another to provide us with guidance? It can be so difficult to trust enough to listen, consider, and follow even the best guidance. How do we know the recommended course of action is right for us? How do we know the guide is the right one for us at this particular time?
Think back to those guides who have seen you safely through treacherous terrain. Were they perfect beings? Surely not. Were they without annoying qualities? No one is, you know. Looking back, do you agree with everything they stood for? It is not necessary for you to now agree with anyone who helped you then, and thankfully so.
As I write this I am reminded of a woman named Gloria, a family friend, and a gifted being who demonstrated strong spiritual faith and abilities. As a teenager I met with her and we just talked, about school, about boys, about my family and the frustrations we were giving each other then. She encouraged me to study, to write and to be true to myself. I listened. And then, as many teens do, I stumbled ahead into adulthood, making so many mistakes, trusting the wrong people, doing the things that make one less safe and not being true to myself. But her strong spirit helped me. I came to see life very differently than she did, and my parents felt she was too eccentric to remain a friend. But I will always be grateful for the guidance she gave me. In many ways, she showed me how to be a strong woman, one to whom others can turn for help.
So let us not wait for the perfect people to guide us out of the dangers we place ourselves in. Let us listen and learn and know that we too will be guides to others who stumble in ways they do not fully understand, and will not understand until after we are no longer holding the lantern to help them.