Final part


Neil wrote:

”Some of us, at any rate, must hit what AA calls «an emotional bottom» wherein we realize we are powerless, that our lives have become unmanageable and we must reach out for help. It is in this «bottom» that I believe we take the first decisive step in beginning to draw our own map. It is a marvellous paradox that when we become vulnerable we also become able to grow from the inside.

In this sense, God does indeed write straight with crooked lines. Or as the Canadian therapist, Marian Woodman, puts it, «God comes through the wound. »

How do you know when you are living out of your own map? Let me suggest a few simple test, so simple you may think them jejune. Believe me they’re not consider the following:

1) A friend calls you on the telephone to invite you to a party. You tell the friend you’ll get back to her. The reason for your delay is not to consult your agenda. The reason is that you don’t really want to commit yourself until you’re sure another, more interesting invitation doesn’t turn up. You are not living out of your own map. The relevant advise is « Move in a straight line. » Only those who habitually live out of their own map are mature enough not to continually hedge their bets but to move in a straight line.

2) Another friend calls on you to take on a project of some kind. You hesitantly say yes, not because the project really interests you (and you already have too many projects on your plate) but because you don’t want to displease your friend.

You are not living out of your own map. Only those who do feel really comfortable saying «no» when «no» is the nature of the response. How and why a person says «no» is a fairly accurate test of whether that person is living out of his or her map.

3) You do something in public, e.g. a talk, a presentation, an article. There is very little or no reaction from others. You are inordinately discomfited by this lack of response. You are not living out of your own map. To change the image, you are still dancing to the music played by others.

There are many other examples of not living according to your own map and I expect you can come up with many of your own.

Drawing your own maps is not a decision, an act of will. It is a process which requires awareness, demands patience but is truly liberating, and blessings on your journey.”

Neil McKenty

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