surrender

The Art of Not Knowing

Photo by  Austin Chan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

I feel raw.


In June, I leave for three weeks. I'll be in training, refining my skills in the healing and regression modality that I use with clients to change the patterns in their life so they can be more fully alive.  It’s deep work. It is therapeutic and healing and accesses depths that talk therapy can't always get to. It brings relief from trauma and drives inspiration.  It means that real change happens for my clients.

So what does three weeks of training look like?  
 

It means that I'm going to be opened up.
 

I can't help my clients if I haven't been on the front lines.
 

It will require vulnerability and rigor. It may be volcanic or a gentle blooming. I know that I will be different on the other side of it. I know I will be able to bring more to my clients. Those are truths.
 

And, I have no idea what is really going to happen. Sitting with the not knowing is both an art and a challenge.

Knowing answers feels good.  There’s an inherent confidence and ease that comes when we have the answers.  It’s rewarding. It’s the key to good grades, to promotions, to leadership positions and credibility with friends and peers.  When we know the answers, the world is set and we know our place in it and that feels good.

Which is why not knowing can be hard.  Some questions require time and examination. They could upend our positioning of our place in the world.  It requires a surrender, when all we want to do is control. Holding the not knowing requires an uncomfortable grace.

“Do I stay in this job or look for another?”

“What is my purpose in life?”

“Do I send my child to kindergarten early or hold them back?”

“Which direction is the right way?”

“Do I take the short term fix or play the long game?”

When I have to hold a question, like "what is going to change for me during this training" some part of me desperately wants an answer, and right the f*&k now.  Someone please give me direction, give me an answer, because not knowing is SO uncomfortable. There is fear in not knowing and the ‘what if’s’ creep in.  
Fear makes us push for an answer. We want to assert our place in the world and demand the confidence and ease to replace the fear. We will sometimes take or create a decision, just to move forward, even if it isn't the right decision.

Here is what I am learning.  There are truths to live by. There is timing.  There is the art of not knowing, which is really the art of the letting go of the outcome.  

When I hold to truth (I will feel different in three weeks) and I let go of the outcome (better, worse, stronger, weirder), something eases up.  There is no wrong answer if I hold to truth. And in fact, if I let go of the outcome, there is simplicity.  
I don't feel compelled to...

Construct my life around a potential outcome,

Protect myself from an outcome,

Attach myself to a decision as better or worse,

Adhere to a not-yet-happened outcome,

Or even organize around

An answer that has not yet come.

I can stay in the face of not knowing anything but a desire for truth and from there, any outcome will be ok. 

and the truth will set you free.

With all the love of not knowing,

Jennifer