“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.”—-by Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
When the existential questions stalk you, patience is a scarce commodity.
Living the questions means letting go of the pursuit of truth. Living the questions has, for decades, meant sacrificing inner peace so that others can live peacefully within their own subterfuge. Their “pas de deux” spun a web of lies that brushes against the skin of many even a half century later.
As truth appears in bits and bursts, it ripples out and hits almost everyone involved. And even the ones being shielded from the truth, feel it in their core. I know I did when I was among the shielded!
Reactions to truth have been varied and fascinating. One denied truth gently but emphatically. His mantra was “I’m sure she’s mistaken.” But there was a gentleness in his voice. Perhaps I should be grateful for the gentle lie? Are lies less toxic when blended with gentleness?
And others, when hearing truth for the first time, drew a line in the sand…a line that morphed into a mote of protection. They just couldn’t see that I never wanted to breech the castle. People who’ve been wounded rarely want to instigate pain, especially toward the innocent.
There are extended periods where I divorce myself from both the questions and the truth. The living of the questions becomes too weighty. It can feel so suffocating that I must choose between answers and air. At those breathless intersections, I choose air and I pretend, for a time, that none of it matters.
Periodically I brace myself and I approach another, still searching for answers to the questions I’m forced to live within.
Yesterday I tried again. Kindness was such an amazing response to my request that breathlessness returned unexpectedly!
Perhaps kindness is more important than truth. Maybe kindness can even heal the questions!💜
I’m glad you’re here.
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