What do you do when you just don’t know the answer? I have spent a lot of my life not knowing the answers to a lot of questions that well meaning people have asked me over the years. I am a bona fide expert in this field. For instance, I was always in awe of my friends and family who knew definitively what they wanted to do. To be honest, I often wondered if they were lying. lol. I mean how did they know at 18 that they wanted to be a doctor or teacher or whatever? I say, good for all of you people who knew and know what you wanted to do or be. Even better if you knew the how, and why, and wherefores. Those of you who knew/know all that don’t need to read further. As a matter of fact, you should probably share with the rest of us how you did that. But for those of you who are not always sure like me….read on.
I often will look to the past to try and help me navigate the future. But in truth, the past is just the past. It’s not the future. It’s not even always a good predictor of the future. Mainly because we are not the “self” from our past. We’ve changed and hopefully grown into a whole new person. So…strike that technique to find answers off the list.
I know people who will look to other successful people for answers. That might be a good technique for some… but for me…. not so much. Because, I am not that other person. And if I am doing what someone else says they did, well it might be okay for a minute, but ultimately I’m not going to react the same way they did forever. And it’s not who I am. It’s not authentic for me. So I had to strike that idea too.
So what does work? What is the “answer” (literally and figuratively)? It took me awhile to realize that the answers are not as important as the questions. That’s right, you heard it here. Our society seems to be answer driven. But what about the lessons we learn as we journey to the answer? What about that huh? What about the unfolding in time so that we have a chance to internalize the lesson? It seems to me that the “good” answers are the ones that show up in our lives from a lesson we learned. Not because we skipped the lesson and went right to the answer. I know it’s what we all want, instant gratification. Hey, I’m right there with you. I’m all about instant gratification. Unfortunately, the glow from instant gratification sure doesn’t last very long. And then, you’re right back where you started. Lost.
What it comes down to is this, for me……I don’t know how to find the answers other than to just live the journey. That means living with the unknown and sometimes unknowable. So, mostly my prayer is to ask the right questions, to have the strength to live with them, and to recognize the answers when they show up in my life. TA DA!! Pretty dang wise you say? I have to agree.