Why do we spend so much of our precious time trying to know the unknowable? All the energy we use to plan and prepare for what is going to happen next and with whom. To identify all of the ways life will disappoint us and best it. The truth of the matter is our attempt to figure out, name, and categorize our experiences provides a false sense of hope. We purposefully limit ourselves and the scope of our ability around how much risk we can handle.
We are all unique. We occupy a specific time and space in the universe that is distinctly ours. As is our approach to the ups and downs, laughter and tears, known and unknown. So begins the conversation with everything that exists in creation; with the universe.
Arthur Schopenhauer: “Every man takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.”
Close to our heart lies the foundation of our identity; how we choose to “be” in this world. We build it throughout our lives, a story – ongoing. The road, however, is long and difficult. The ebb and flow. Gain and loss. It is the loss that is most difficult to understand.
Every day there are things and people we must let go of. We feel lost, as if there is some part of us that never quite gets a grasp on how to experience being human. And so we continue the story. Elaborate on it; write our own rules. Calculate our own future so we have just enough courage just to show up and play the game of life.
What if part of being human is being aware of the existence of the unknown?
Perhaps to be human is to feel uneasy in the world. As though we are always just shy of getting it right. Never quite finding our footing; always searching for home. To look life straight in the eye and see it exactly for what it is. Letting the unknown reveal itself to you without trying to sort it out beforehand.
Poet David Whyte suggests this level of acceptance is the human conversation. To hold the unfamiliar in a light no other creature in existence has the ability to see it in. To allow the vulnerabilities of life to open us up; expose us to outcomes larger than we would have imagined for ourselves.
“Just being yourself as human being, means feeling slightly out of it most of the time. And that a form of enlightenment, actually, is to understand that you’ll never ever feel quite at home in the world, and you’re not meant to. Because actually your sense of compassion for the rest of creation and for others depends on your understanding of exile and how far a creature, and especially a human creature can feel from true parentage, from their true inheritance, from their true home.“
Avoid loss or grow larger?
We must accept that loss, disappointment, and struggle are necessary. Because we can experience it, we can learn to grow larger because of it. Large enough to allow those experiences to live inside you within a more appropriate context. To discover the pattern placed just behind you and connect to your true self to guide the steps to be made. Welcoming the unknown into our lives and developing a healthy relationship with it. As with every relationship, we need to allow it the space to reveal itself in its own time and way. We should not interfere. It is in our own best interest to leave our baggage behind. To learn new behaviors, new ways to engage. Turn toward the unknown.