I’m only 50 years young and yet, I’ve spent my entire life thinking, dreaming, planning and contemplating my future. For all the energy I’ve used to prepare myself for the “What if’s” in life, they have NEVER come to pass as I thought or dreamed they would.
In truth, they were usually better or a circumstance would detour me to an uncomfortable place before arriving and then when I arrived, it was never as I imagined. It was usually better or there was a precious gift left for me to embrace.
How many times can you honestly say that things in your life turned out EXACTLY as you thought or dreamed they would?
Why do we do that? Why do we plan so heavily? Why do we try to buffer or cushion the senses in preparation for what may be an uncomfortable situation? Or plan for a glorious event with the expectation of a perceived outcome? Even if the worst shows up and all of our preparation conditions us to believe that we are ready, the truth is it never feels as we imagined and it never turns out as we thought.
I’ve been in a space in my life for the last two years that quite honestly leaves me feeling exposed and vulnerable to life. My career came to an end, I became an “Empty nester” at that very same time and then 3 months later, my mom passed away whom I had been taking care of for 5 years. Everything that I thought gave me value came to an end.
I was open, exposed, vulnerable, lost, scared and confused. I wanted to plan my future. I wanted to know the direction that God was sending me so that I could plan and prepare and … feel secure. In all of my efforts to get a grasp of my space and my circumstances, it just dropped me further and further within myself to a place that seemed completely unrecognizable. I was raw and confused.
Who am I? Who values me? Who notices me? Who sees my gifts and talents? Who really loves me? What is my purpose? Why am I here? Where are my supports? What now? What next?
I’ve had more than one person remind me that I created this space for myself at this place and time in my life. For as comforting as that should be considering I am the creator of my life, it just left me feeling even more frustrated. Why did I create this space? Why do I feel so lost? Why now?
As hours passed into days and days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I’ve come to appreciate the answer to all of my questions. I’ve come to embrace that elusive answer that escaped me that would lend credibility to my intellect and wisdom. That one answer that was the true reflection of the wisdom that I was embracing;
“I don’t know!”
I don’t know why I’m here.
I don’t know what my purpose is.
I don’t know who sees me or who values my gifts.
I don’t know who loves me.
I don’t know what to do today.
I don’t know what to do tomorrow.
I don’t know what’s happening next.
I don’t know where the money is coming from.
I don’t know who sees me.
I don’t know who my friends are.
I don’t know what to think.
And then it hit me, I’ve NEVER known anything! If I thought I did, it was only an illusion that I created to make me feel better about not knowing.
I’ve had a lot of time to sit with this and “think” about it and guess what?! I still don’t know!
For the first time in my life, I’m aware that I do not know and I’m ok with that. I am safe and it is safe for me to say, “I don’t know”.
There’s a quote from Byron Katie that goes like this, “The mind usually says, ‘I know, I know, I know.’ But the ‘I don’t know mind’, is where wisdom lives.”
To not know is the beginning of wisdom. It’s in this space where miracles happen. It’s in this space where possibilities emerge. It’s in this space where faith, love and trust reside because it’s the only place they can reside and be whole and complete.
Without the attachments to any kind of outcome, “I don’t know” opens up the door where the fullest expression of love can reside. Please read that again …
If I think I really know, then I’ve attached expectations to the outcome which will either confirm the illusion or leave me feeling scared or lost. I can keep living in the illusion hoping and praying that someday I’ll be prepared for the revealing of the Truth or I can acknowledge and honor the mystery of not knowing and open up the door to endless possibilities.
So, at the age of 50, not knowing, never knowing, still living, still breathing, still thriving, I can honestly say that I am safe. I always have been and I always will be … even if I do not know because … It really is safe to say, “I don’t know”.