“By not knowing, not hoping to know and not acting like we know what’s happening, we begin to access our inner strength.” Pema Chodron
I learned this lesson the hard way. Acting as if, or believing that, or even pretending to, have the right answer, every single time, was extremely important to me for many many years. I always felt as if not knowing was failure or lack of effort or would somehow reveal me to be less than I wanted to represent myself to be. At my core I was afraid to trust in the beauty of the present moment, to have a simple faith and confidence in myself, and to live and truly express the gentle authentic person that, deep down, I felt myself to be.
It was unexpected and extreme adversity that, on reflection, became the unopened present that once torn open invited me into a place of acceptance and courage within the vulnerability of not knowing. I liken it to waves at a shoreline, washing in, receding out, effortlessly and endlessly, lapping gently at my soul as I continue to stand and, most of the time, graciously await, the next one and the next one and the next, no matter the who or the what or the why each one might reveal.
Not every moment is so soothing or easy. This evening I was pretty wistful as I talked to G by phone about the impending first day of High School and his nerves. The first of my four kids that I would not see off to High School as I had imagined, hoped and expected. Had he laid out his outfit? What time was he getting up? Would he text me right after school was over? As usual, G was reassuring and cool as a cucumber; upholding me way more than I him. And I wished things could have been different, for a moment….and that I was sitting on his bed, calm and encouraging, instead of a town and a half away.
But that is not how it is; and even though I understand and agree with the why, holding on to not knowing tonight has taken just a little more out of me than usual.
I’m stronger than I have ever been, and I am happy to be in love with the life that I have; freshly transformed I am able to shine out towards others a hope and a light that burns brightly within me. And I am beyond excited for all that tomorrow will bring, limitless possibility and everlasting love, even when it is bittersweet, as it can sometimes be.