Have you ever found yourself in a state of change or transition when everything you thought you knew, and depended on, suddenly no longer seems so self-evident? It’s like the very ground under your feet has dropped away. Even your sense of identity is in question. You may find yourself wondering, “Who am I?”
While this can be a scary experience, it’s also a very rich one. Your initial impulse may be to grab onto the first thing that comes along offering the hook of a new sense of identity and knowing. But chances are, if you’re honest with yourself, it won’t be something that lasts and eventually you’ll be cast back into the sea of uncertainty.
Learning to live with not knowing is a challenge worth embracing, for it’s probably closer to the truth than anything else you’ll be offered. Once you’ve made the leap into the abyss, you’re likely to find that any view of self and the world you land on can only give provisional security. Better to develop those sea legs and learn to navigate the waters of profound uncertainty, becoming a deep sea diver and explorer.
Truth is a funny thing. The more you grasp at it, the more it eludes you. What if you settle back into the wordless experience of not knowing? Then you can watch the process of grasping at certainty and see it unfold before you. The coming together and falling apart again of anything you take for solid, while disconcerting to experience, can also be very freeing.
Even as I write these words they fall away…as if I know what I’m talking about. Ha! Ha! Of course you’ll settle for some approximation of the truth. Like the monkey swinging from branch to branch you’ll grab onto the next one in your quest until it dissolves you into free fall again. That seems to be the way we do it.
Until we don’t….
Until then we have those brief moments between branches in which we get a glimpse of freedom and develop the muscles of trust and courage in our hearts.