According to the rules of pedestrian safety, there are three different situations during your walk in which you should “stop, look and listen” – at an intersection, a crosswalk and an edge.

I was drawn to this rule recently as I was going through my walk in life meeting intersections, crossroads and edges, in which I recognized that if I was not careful and remember to “stop, look and listen,” I could misstep and find myself in an unsafe or unhealthy situation.

 Unsafe or unhealthy doesn’t always mean some sort of danger that may cause a physical harm, but may mean being mislead by the appearance that all is wall and possibly causing spiritual or mental damage. I had to take a moment and acknowledge the intersections, crossroads and edges in my life and “stop, look and listen.”

Stop means to cease, to interrupt, to cut off or to intercept. Every once in a while we must cease running, interrupt conversations, cut off relationships and intercept some things; to just stop and take a moment to observe our surroundings. Our environments, people, relationships, and affiliations; all that are around us that impact our walk in life. Are your surroundings safe or conducive to your growth?

Look means to turn one’s eyes toward something or in some direction in order to “see”. One even better definition is to use one’s sight or vision in seeking, searching, examining, or watching. Once you stop and observe your immediate surroundings, what do you actually “see”? Seek, search, examine and watch these influences with a critical eye. At times the most difficult part of seeing something or someone with fresh eyes is accepting the reality of “what it is” and not “what we would like it to be”. 

Listen means to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing. When is the last time you turned your phone, television or music off for the purpose of hearing what your spirit, mind and heart has to say to you? Periodically, it is healthy to shut off the external influences in our lives and listen to what life and the self has to share. The person on the other end of the line, reality TV or popular music cannot give you the answers to the questions of your heart. If anything, these things often create more confusion inside of you. 

This autumn season, before you step out into the next intersection, crosswalk or edge in your life, take a moment to stop, look and listen. Every now and then, go beyond and deeper than your roles, titles, responsibilities, familial and societal expectations to be sure that your next move is safe and beneficial to your life.

“Let’s not make any hasty decisions” – My husband, Jim Bulls