On Letting Go of Not Knowing

“I don’t know” was once my mantra, chanted in place of “umm”.

I convinced myself to give up that habit by telling myself that I should know, that I do know, that it is terrible juju to chant myself knowledgeless.

But not-knowing has continued to haunt me. Plague me. And when I finally sat down with it to figure out why it was chasing me everywhere, I found that it is not such a bad friend after all.

Let Go of What You Can’t Know

“Give me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

There are lots of benefits to letting go of what you can’t change. Otherwise you go crazy and exhaust yourself hitting your head on a wall. And walls don’t move.

Not knowing seems like something you can change, especially regarding your direction in life. We see people all the time giving interviews about what great things they are doing in life. They seem to know their direction, but it is only in hindsight. And it took them a lot of time to learn it.

It seems like you should just be able to figure out your direction. You should know.

And you can.

But it requires a lot of late night conversations with the universe. It requires breathing into a lot of discomfort, doing things you don’t like or want to do, changing how you think.

So like most big projects, it doesn’t change right away. It has ups and downs.

You will never be Certain though. You won’t know the future, or have a guarantee for an easy life. So let it go.

Not-Knowing Is Actually Kind of Wonderful

It’s like when you wake up late, really hungry, and someone is making really good breakfast. It’s like not knowing what the gift is in the box, but from the smile on everyone’s faces, expecting it to be wonderful. It’s like not knowing what you will find in the foreign city on your vacation, but being fascinated with every minute of it.

Life is an adventure. It’s exciting and wonderful. It’s full of discovery of strange and delightful things you never could have expected.

If you knew in advance how everything would go, you couldn’t enjoy it. You would never learn or be surprised.

The joy, wonder, surprise in life comes from not knowing.

That need you feel, the hunger to know yourself and your path, the desire for satisfaction and fulfillment – that is necessary to enjoying what you get in life. That is the space necessary for the universe to deliver something wonderful through you.

So breathe into the need, the unknown. It is the precursor to everything wonderful.

Fear of The Unknown Is The Problem

The scariest thing is fear itself. Sit with not knowing for a while and you will see – knowing was never that important. It’s the fear that hurts.

Do you know what you’ll be having for lunch tomorrow? Do you wrestle with it in terror, chanting every minute, “beans or bread, eggs or potatoes, lettuce or tomatoes!”

Probably not, unless odds are good you won’t get to eat tomorrow.

Usually, when we don’t know, we don’t care.

It’s not knowing if you will survive that is scary. It’s not knowing where the food will come from. It’s not knowing if you will be happy, or true to yourself, or able to act on your dreams.

So Let Go of Not-Knowing and Change the Fear

You will never know your Path, or the future, or the Right Thing. Not until it’s all over. And this is why life is wonderful. So let it go.

Instead, change what you do have control over. Sit down patiently with what you are afraid of – that thing you need to protect yourself from by knowing.

Ask your fear what it’s there to protect you from.

Then take measures right now, in the present, to ensure you have whatever you need to cope with that bad thing if and when it occurs.

For me, ironically, all I need is meditating for fifteen minutes a day, writing, and grounding myself. Because that is all the space I need to hear my soul. I’m afraid of living a meaningless life, and all I need to find meaning in everything is a little me time to reconnect with the universe, and the commitment to keep it up.

On The Misty Cliff of The Unknown

I know how scary it is. I know the feeling of sick, twisting paralysis deep in your gut. I know how it infects everything with confusion and fear.

The only way I get through is to breathe.

You and I are on a misty cliff, before a vast unknown, and there is nothing for it right now but to be. Breathe.

Sunrise is coming. And we could find ourselves two feet above a grassy field. Or watching the sunrise over the ocean.

All I know is this:

The beauty you see in morning depends on your patience, courage, and hope through night.

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  1. This is a beautiful post Morgan. I especially love your point that not knowing can be wonderful in and of itself. It’s so true.

    If we knew everything that was, and everything that was going to be, life would be pretty damn pointless. And boring.

    Not knowing may bring us fear. But it brings us surprise and spontaneity as well. It brings passion and hidden treasures. It brings new experiences. Awe and wonder.

    It brings us the moments we’ll never forget.

    Something we’d all do well to reflect on next time we’re afraid to try something new.

    Trevor recently posted…6 Self-Help Mistakes That Hold People Back (Which Ones Are YOU Making?)My Profile

  2. Give me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change. Hmm. I like that line
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