Some of the Questions People Ask
- Do you think I can do it? Translation: “I’m not sure I can do it.”
- What should I do? Translation: “I’m feeling lost.”
- How should I get there? Translation: “Someone must show me the way.”
- Am I good enough? Translation: “I don’t know the source of my worth.”
- Why did this happen to me? Translation: “This isn’t fair – I don’t want this to be true.”
No One Knows it All
I don’t have all of the answers. No one has all of the answers. While this is an obvious truth, it seems to me that some people are leading life under the expectation that they should know it all.
The truth is that no one knows it all.
- No one is completely at ease and comfortable in every situation they encounter.
- No one gets to live a stress free life.
- No one feels confident all of the time.
- Everyone has insecurities and uncertainties.
- Everyone has a learning curve.
- Everyone has to overcome more than one thing.
Why Do We Want to Have All of the Answers?
I think it has something to do with the idea that if we can achieve “perfection,” we will be saved from pain and difficulty and that we will feel perpetually good. Or perhaps the idea that something is “wrong” with you and that you need to be perfect in order:
- to be loved,
- to be helpful,
- to be successful.
Fabric of Our Humanity
The most challenging notion of all is that too many people are basing their acceptance of themselves on whether or not others approve of them. We are social beings and “yes” it does matter how we fit into the fabric of our humanity…within our communities, families, and social groups.
But the way you fit into the fabric of our humanity has everything to do with being uniquely yourself. It has nothing to do with being like everyone else around you or that came before you.
“Yes” – you will have many things in common with others. And “no” – you do not have to work hard to be different. The truth of who you are is always present. All you have to do is pay attention. The truth of who you are will always include imperfection and challenges and pain. If we don’t focus excessively on that aspect of truth, then we will also see and acknowledge our positive experiences of happiness, tranquility and calm.
Who Are You?
I’ve had a few conversations recently that reveal the assumptions people make about who I am. The assumptions people make tend to lean toward their ideas about who they want us to be. Of course, culture (gender, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity and so on) has an impact on who we are and how we experience the world and also how others experience us.
Sometimes you can be tempted to try to live up to people’s expectations of you. Other people’s expectations or assumptions – whether positive, negative or neutral – can give you an idea of their personal values. How you respond to it and what you do with it is a reflection of who you are.
You need only to look to your reactions and responses to better understand yourself. When you examine your assumptions and seek to understand them, you will better understand the meaning that you assign to events. Meaning making is an essential task of existence.
You are the sum total of what you create, co-create, believe and do. As a result, you can be who you already are…and you can be who you want.
Change, while difficult, is not impossible. Keep moving toward who you want to be by knowing who you already are and by accepting yourself as you are in this moment.
There is so much that we can learn from others. However, the key to absorbing information is doing it through experiences. When you come across someone you find informative, it is likely that that you will gain knowledge built upon experiences with them.
You do not have to have a lot of experiences to be knowledgeable, but what must happen is that you learn from your experiences. You must seek out information and experiences for yourself. Answers cannot be obtained via osmosis.
The answers that we absorb wholly from others are the ones that we must take time to re-examine. We must find the truth of those answers for ourselves. Sometimes we have to abandon long-held beliefs in order to see, hear and experience our own answers.
What is the meaning of this, that or the other? You get to decide the meaning…ALWAYS. This is sometimes a painful truth, but it can also be a freeing one.
When things happen (good or bad), it can challenge our beliefs, bolster our beliefs, or we can redefine those beliefs. We begin cultivating meaning at a very early age. This indicates that changing meaning will challenge you to let go of deeply-held beliefs, whether they are serving you well or not.
You are never more brave than when you let go of beliefs that are holding you back from the life you want to live.
Be brave…this is not the same as not being anxious or afraid. Like the late Susan Jeffers said “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”