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,
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” –Karl Rove
“I think that I shall never see” . . . an essay lovely as a tree. Tho yours comes close. – George Beres, Boise, ID
A very delightful and insightful article! Naming what plagues us is often the first step In either understanding it and resolving it…or letting it be and finding heart peace DESPITE our confusion! This article does a great job of naming many pieces in the puzzle of life, especially pieces that can absorb our focus and leave us more bewildered and confused! I think “following our heart” is another way to say we are “following love“…and we really can’t loose when we do that! When our focus is on love, whatever we don’t understand or whatever is unknown just doesn’t seem so oppressive…and we will be able to instead use that energy for knowing ourselves! (And for truly loving ourselves…which ends up changing everything!).
Dear Briony Dalton… your article was so insightful and beautifully written. Thank you. As I followed the journey you shared from overload to letting go and coming to rest in your beautiful heart I was with you all the way.
This is my first experience with Uplift. I love what you are creating and have signed up to join your community. With love and appreciation.. Tarran Caldwell❤️
I am so glad that I am a member of this online community. It is also comforting to know that I am not the only one experiencing all the emotions during this difficult time. Most days I feel unsettled for no particular reasons but deep down I know that are lots of reasons why I feel the way I feel. I feel sad, confused, lost and anxious about our future. Yes I know we should live in the present. It’s easier said than done. Our minds always like to “trick” us. It is almost that sometimes we have brain gymnastics with ourselves good or bad. It is so important to constantly remind ourselves that difficult times shall pass, we shall keep our chins up and remain optimistic, do not let the dark moments take over our bright moments. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the articles on Uplift. I wish I could write as beautifully as all of you. Take care.
were not being challenged with facts and truth about the noise!
I have three words that I try to come back to. Trust. Breathe. Calm. They help me back to my own silence, my own self and to the now. They are my mantra for meditation. Peace and love to you all.
Trust and devine profound faith is my sweet spot. Knowing humanity as a whole is suffering from a state of congnitive dissonance (by design) this requires deep radical compassion and acceptance for one another. Blessings.
I found this article describes exactly where I am and I found it comforting to know it’s an experience shared by the author and in the others replies from readers.
Finally I too just let go and remain still and trusting in the moment. When we forget our “small self” and its worries and ruminations we allow our “higher self” to guide us and we can trust our journey.
I used to feel just as you described, wanting, needing all the answers in order to forge ahead in life and prepare me for things in life that hadn’t even happened, or making sense of why I fell victim to some of life’s shortfalls that caused pain and misery. After recently reaching a major milestone in my life, one that took over a decade of suffering at my own hands to reach, I have found that there is no one universal answer to any one situation or way to view life. Sometimes one way of seeing things works well for one person while a completely different perspective fits another. You have to be open to interpret different thoughts, trust yourself, and let love guide you to find your way.
I have a quote on my day plan and have been keeping it there a while. ” lean into the mystery and get a little more at ease not knowing”. This article was, in part, along that same idea. It really spoke to my heart and uplifted. It’s nice to know I am not the only one having these thoughts. Thanks for sharing so eloquently.
Thank you. This article resonated with me. I have been feeling ‘all at sea”” for a while now in these strange times.
As T.S. Eliot said, “Truth does not exist. It happens.” I interpret that as Truth is not an entity but an experience. There is an in inner knowing that is beyond knowing about. It is an intimate assurance that “All shall be well and all thing shall be well.”
It was lovley to hear what the article said and make sence I read the news every day , a need to stay ahead of things but it does lead to have emptiness of feeling as there are no conclusions no real awnser just informs you ,don’t think after reading your article it’s good to keep uploading day after day . So will cut it back a bit , as there are somethings helpfull in the news , I used to say a phrase yrs ago and it helped , this am sure could be any religion, trust the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding . This could be lord Buddha, the great spirit , so on , thanks terry
Check out the religious philosophy based on this resting in the unknown: http://www.Dunnosophy.org.
This is something I have spent the almost the past decade on intentionally breaking through and figuring out- the last 15 years, even, if you count unintentionally. Being hyper analytical and extremely spiritual put me in a position where I didn’t have a choice, though thankfully my curiosity also leapt at the opportunity. I greatly appreciate the sentiments shared here, between the challenge and frustration shared in the beginning, to the peace and submission at the end. The learning how to let go and trust our hearts and souls to guide the way, to help us understand what the point of it all is- why it’s all so important, yet at the same time so trivial. Life is a spiritual game, I’ve learned. Tough and a bit frustrating at times when you can’t see ahead and feel stuck, but overall something to relax into and just have fun with- to appreciate- regardless of the situation or circumstance. Good or otherwise. The more I understand spiritual law and strengthen my intuition, the easier it becomes. The need to know subsides, and the challenges melt away- whether through newfound insignificance or the law of attraction. The hard things become pleasurable, they both test me and let me know that good things are to come, for it always gets darker before the dawn.
Each day I do something for the benefit and wellbeing of someone who has less than I do. If each of us does that the world will have millions of people who are better off than they were the day before. In peace.
I am lucky and blessed to be old. 71 years old. It is a a joy to no longer go out to work or worry about my appearance or about what other people think. As an elderly person (specially a woman…..) I can become invisible. I can also go for days without going on-line, I have an ancient mobile ‘phone, no apps. or tweets and I can totally disconnect from the world. I can meditate or simply sit somewhere and watch the world go by.
I know this virus/pandemic has been disastrous for so many people and businesses but I do believe it was sent to us for a reason, if only we can look through the pain and death it has caused. It has made us slow down and stop our mad rushing about constantly. It has made us realize that we are all one, one race, one Humanity. Above all, I feel it has made us see how much we love each other, how we used to hug and kiss and reach out to touch each other, how close we were physically to each other much of the time. And how much we help and rely on each other. That is what we must take away with us after this passes. For as we know “this too shall pass”.
One last word: don’t dread old age. it is a blessing.
People are actually all confused.
Never think you have found the truth because it can cause real harm.
Always keep wondering and really try to believe something good.
I like to believe that there aren’t any bad persons only people that stick to something they believe for too long.
An even arc, it’s
In sprawling wave,
Quaffs of life,
To each and all!
All actions fed,
Yet all is led!
The flowing train
Of half-Day King,
The Night Queen’s
The Sky-graced pour,
For music’s new score!
Who but man
The gifts of the King
And the love
From the Queen?
In the pried open space,
Of alchemy’s spawn
Thought claimed the
Of humanity’s dawn!
Funded not! by the
Co-opted the role!
Donning the crown
It’s light turned to gold,
The mission myopic
Spun lies ever told!
The path freely given
Now beleaguered with
All stationed with
We are bombarded with so much of information that its overwhelming us. Our desire to be on top of all these stories in various field of interest can be daunting and even confusing. It leaves you wondering what is right or wrong but more worryingly your perception are clouded and may lead you to believe erroneously what is right or wrong. And that can be dangerous.
The article above is telling me to let go of overthinking or to pause our thinking capacity a little….or probably stop the mind from receiving unnecessary information flow. LET GO!!!. Rather, start to feel the flow of love through the heart. Perhaps it will allow my inner being of wisdom to develop.
´´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,
Very good, for me it´s about moving my body, drinking water, eating balanced meals, Positive Mental Attitude,