The Times Of Consolation
In the 17th century, St. Ignatius of Loyola offered up this bit of wisdom that I think absolutely still preaches all these centuries after he wrote it:
In a time of desolation do not make a life-changing decision and do not go back on a decision made during a time of consolation. Remember the times of consolation.
In other words, when things have fallen apart and you think the world is about to end, don't do anything rash or radical just to alleviate your discomfort. Decisions made in the haste of those uncomfortable moments usually mean we'll have plenty of time to repent of them later.
I've heard that same advice a hundred times in my life in various forms and from a wide variety of people. Maybe you have, too.
In contrast, the other side of that quote is equally important: Don't start second-guessing a decision or a direction you made when you were calm, clear, at peace, and feeling sure about it.
Ignatius exhorts that we must instead remember the moments of "consolation" when we were at peace and our heart was full of hope as we anticipated which direction we were going to take or the decisions we made to head there.
This is easier said than done, as most of us well know. Second-guessing our decisions during times of trial and tribulation is often the action most of us choose to take, despite how we made them in the first place.
The Irish poet Padraig O'Tuama wrote this amazing stanza that sums up the conflicts that we feel in the moments of disquiet and disequilibrium when we aren't sure what to do or how to feel about our situation or direction:
like a flower that you never planted.
Occupy your hands with kindness.
Remember you can see, even though this blindness