In my 20′s there was this feeling that one day everything would be just the way I hoped it would be. I grew up believing all would come if I worked hard and was a good man who did not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery or covet what someone else had. In every single ‘rule of life’ I was not an “A+” student, but was a good, honorable and decent young man. Disillusion came by my early 30′s wondering why my graduation into the life I thought I deserved had not unfolded for me. Oh, to have known then what I know now!
I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Rainer Maria Rilke
Rilke wrote that over a hundred years ago, but his advice is as good now as then. For me what rings most true are his words “the point is to live everything”. In stunning simplicity I believe he states wisdom that will help lead anyone toward a richly meaningful life. Not only the good, joyful and pleasurable should be embraced and lived; pain, disappointment and sorrow needs be lived fully as well.
My thinking used to be that grief, distress and heartbreak were interruptions to my life; just detours on the way to the “good life” I was convinced was ahead. In retrospect it’s clear now I was living a richly wonderful and good life in my younger years, yet had limited awareness of it then. Like one who chews food so fast they get little satisfaction or taste I was chewing up life without fully experiencing the myriad of flavors of life.
With regularity I come across quotes by Helen Keller and am touched by them, such as Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. She gained a deep and profound wisdom that came through “living everything” well including being deaf and blind from the time she was a toddler. Everyone knows a few people who seem to be able to bear life’s pain with poise and grace. They have a special way of showing the world their magic without even knowing it and illustrate well the best way to live.
Famed psychologist and philosopher Carl Jung said what we resist persists. Within those four words he encapsulates why I encountered so many malcontented years: I resisted ‘what was’. Fighting unchangeable reality only created more of it. Amazingly simple to me now!
My life experience got a lot better as I learned to open up and accept ALL of my life’s circumstances. Today I know the more I resist the longer a difficulty or discomfort continues. When I am able to accept my circumstances there is no immediate calm and joy. Life does not work like that. But when I can “just be” and say yes to what is, a frame of mind comes that enables me to cope well with what challenge is upon me and ”live the questions” well.
Everything will be okay in the end. if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. Unknown