Living The Questions
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.
Do not seek the answers, which can not be given to you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer”
Patience is not a virtue of mine. Actually, that’s not quite true. I am very patient with other people’s processes. I am happy to hang with them as long as they need to figure things out for themselves. Which I trust they will at some point. Or not.
But when it comes to my own meanderings… that’s a different story. If I have an awareness about something in me, I want to know how to shift things for myself like two weeks ago. More often than not, I don’t revel in the mystery of how it will unfold. To be fair, I have gotten somewhat better about this over the years… and still…it’s a thing.
So when I was introduced to this poem by Rilke a few weeks ago, I was supremely annoyed. In fact, my first reaction was ” What the fuck does this even mean and how do I DO IT?” Pretty ironic, given the content.
After my temper tantrum ( which are highly underrated by the way. But that’s another blog post…) I started to wonder what it might be like if I were curious about this idea of living the questions in my life instead of resisting it.
I sat down and literally made a list of questions for myself.
What do I (really) want from my life?
What do I ( really) want for my business?
Who am I really? Apart from everyone else. As a sovereign being in my own right.
What brings me joy and peace unrelated to anyone?
What inspires me for me, not as a reflection of my relationship to others?
Know what? I still don’t have the fucking answers.
But what I do have is a daily commitment to discover something new about myself. It’s like meeting a cool stranger at a coffee shop and getting to know them. Being inquisitive about them. Wondering how I might be surprised at a response or delighted by a facial expression they have. Putting aside all assumptions of what I think I know about them and actually knowing them.
Yea. It’s kind of awesome. I’m experiencing myself in a whole new way.
I’m (learning to) ask myself these questions relentlessly and without ceasing. Breathing the questions. Bringing them into my dreams. Asking myself from moment to moment – what do I REALLY want now? And being open to have the answer be an unexpected surprise.
I believe that it is our willingness to stand in this place of uncertainty with all it’s squirmy discomfort that allows the truth to bubble up in whatever form it takes. To simply not know without numbing ourselves or forcing solutions. To let go off all we thought we knew about ourselves, and discover who’s actually there. To live the questions as artfully as we can.
What questions do you want to live in your life? Leave me a comment below!