You Do Not Have To Know

A Fierce Practice 4 17 17

A Week of Questions:

How do you let go of having to know?

I don't know how many times I've written asking you (and me) How do you know? When to end it? If you should sell it or keep it? When it's safe or okay to start a new relationship? What siding to use? And I've approached all of these things as if A) There is only 1 correct answer and B) You absolutely have to make some sort of concrete decision before beginning the process of doing the thing. All of this talk about trusting your heart compass and knowing deep down whether something is right or not. 

Of course. Of course I am approaching the question completely blindly. Of course, this is just another skirmish in the epic battle between my perfectionist DNA and my aspirational imperfectionist manifesto

I don't have to know. I don't have to know! (Can you see the lightbulb turning on and exploding in my head? I can feel it.) This came from Jennifer at Stitch + Letter in response to the "You Do Not Have To ___________" series of prompts...and these parallel 'big projects' we are each undertaking in parallel to each other (and dialoging about in the margins of time). Her words were both earth shattering and a calming balm.

Right. I don't have to know. That's the whole thing. Sometimes there is no knowing. There is just what is for right now. And you don't have to know it, you just have to be with it in the moment. Embody it, and let it fill you. Accept it. Explore it. Learn from it. Be engaged in the process. Learn with each step (both the forward motion itself and the various stages of developing a project.) Make small decisions. And layer them on top of each other like cakes from a springform pan. Alternate layers of cakes ideas with frosting ideas. Repeat.

Trust that you will get where you need to go. Even if you set off on the trail without knowing your exact destination yet.

Commitments to little "yesses" and things passed by with silent "no's" because come decisions, become the 'knowing,' and then you've slowly put together words and feelings and designs and  you've navigated to this thing. This stepwise amalgamation of feelings and agreement and building confidence with each small layer until you've built something substantial. But also, it's made of small pieces so it's actually easy to change. To edit. To reflect and re-organize. To remove the pea from under that mattress. 

But what I really love about not having to know is that it's dual purpose: 1) You do not have to know the answers and you do not have to possess a clear vision of your destination upon starting and 2) There is some intangible faith that everything will turn out, and you can move forward without knowing exactly where you are going. A big relief and a bit exhale on each count.

So, the question is How do you free yourself from the feeling that knowing is so important? How do you start when you don't know where the path will take you? How do you have faith you are headed in the right direction? How do you cut the cord to the Knowing Sensor in order to operate free from that confining tether? How do you explore freely and blindly?

As always, leave a note and let me know!