The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. – Socrates
I spend a lot of time and energy trying to make sense of life, humanity, the world, current events, but I’ve come to realise I may not ever know the truth about some things. Many things even. I grasp for some sense of understanding but it seems the more I do, the further I drift from my inner anchor. The anchor of being okay with the ‘unknowns’. I want to rest comfortably with the unknown. I want to be unmoved by the swaying rhetoric. “It’s okay to not know,” I tell myself, “It’s okay not to know.”
With everything that’s happening in the world right now, I frequently find myself utterly overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of information. Whether it’s from television, social media or people around me, it seems no matter where I go, opinions are determined to influence and persuade me. This is the truth … that’s a lie … the facts are here … science says this … so-and-so quoted — and on and on it goes until I’m spinning in the noise. Dazed and drenched in doubt and too ‘info-logged’ to know what to believe.
If I do manage to grasp a seemingly stable perspective, another one sneaks in through the backdoor of some other information source, confusing my mind’s sense of security and assurance and leaving me once again overwhelmed.
My diminishing trust and I wave our white flags and welcome the blissful sedation of ignorance. Swirling around in the tornado that is the chaos of these times, I squeeze my eyes shut and stick my fingers in my ears, hoping I land gently in the quiet aftermath.
Grasping for the Raft of Truth
What will I do? I wonder if what I had thought was my ‘truth’, is actually just a myth, a whimsical notion I’d concocted to give myself some sense of meaning and purpose. If I am not here to find the truth, then why am I here?
Perhaps it isn’t real. Perhaps there is no truth. Perhaps these complex weavings of stories, told to us through the media, social media, through science and speculation, through friends and family … perhaps none of it is real. I find myself asking, what is this experience we call life? How do I know that I’m not just an avatar in some three-dimensional matrix game, whilst my true ‘being’ lies in some dormant state beyond the realms of planet Earth? The gap that is my doubt and insecurity, the distance between ‘reality’ and my own soul, is the one that is meant to be bridged by understanding. At least that’s what I used to think.
But this gap only seems to be growing larger and feeling further from what’s real and true and important. I feel isolated, almost hovering, I watch this bizarre movie of humanity play out as I try to make sense of the elusive plot.
I Don’t Know, and That’s Okay
My body exhales and tension, I didn’t know was there, dissolves just a little. So, I keep going — It’s okay not to know, and it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to wish things were easier and better and more peaceful. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay. It’s all okay.
These words soothe me. I feel the hard clutch of fear around my heart slowly ease as I’m reunited with the reassurance of trust. This trust sweetly spreads bringing softness and light into all the shadowy nooks and crannies of my heart and soul.
With this newfound ease, I remember that the world is full of unknowns. Always has been, always will be. Humans have evolved beyond any other species in intelligence. We thrust ourselves in perpetual motion, fixated and desperate to conquer all with our discoveries, knowledge, skills, talents, science, with our minds. Humans plough forward, driven by this insatiable thirst for more, more, more! More knowledge, more understanding, more ‘progress’.
We construct our identity, collectively and individually, based on the wealth of our knowledge banks. Our intelligence, our education, our jobs, our connections – it all determines where we sit on the status ladder, a ladder admittedly I too can get obsessed with climbing. I want to know, to understand it all. I want to have the answers. But now, as I sit in the blur of the information age, I wonder if that’s really useful or meaningful. Will it make me happier? Will it fill me with peace and contentment? Will it make me a better person? Suddenly, it occurs to me that I have taken the bait that dangles all around me. The bait that tells me ‘the mind reigns supreme’.
Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life. – Sandra Carey
My Heart, the Reliable Navigator
I remembered there is another way, another reliable navigator: my heart, my other ‘brain’, the one that guides me with feeling and wisdom. My vehicle for love, kindness, compassion, and healing. This mysterious key to the very essence of my soul is so easily forgotten amongst the noise of my ego.
But that doesn’t stop it from beating on in the background, a rhythmic team song, echoing across the stadium of life. I see this daily in a smile, a caring gesture, a helpful hand, a random act of kindness. These precious and meaningful melodies share the same rhythm, uniting us as one human family. They simply don’t get as much time in the limelight.
As I rest in the stillness of not knowing all, or any, of the answers, I make a vow to my heart to rest in her more often. The one thing I do know. She is wise. She is true. She will guide me with grace. She will quench my knowledge-thirst with her sweet assurance that whatever will be, will be. With her as my ally, I can nestle into the comfort of not needing to know or understand any more than the love that I have in this moment and every moment that follows. Because while knowledge comes and goes, is proven and debunked, changes and stays the same, the only true knowing is that my heart will always, always reveal my true path.
Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind. – Unknown
Can you relate to feeling lost and confused amongst the zeitgeist? What has helped you to find your centre and remain grounded? After reading this article, how do you feel now about not knowing all the answers, all the time? As always, we would love to hear about your thoughts, feelings and experiences in the comments below.
May you find deep solace and comfort in the wisdom of your own heart,