Four decades living with another human brings countless lessons. One very important and ongoing lesson for me is “I don’t know”. I’m learning that not-knowing is what Life is, as it discovers Itself. Waiting, trusting, listening makes room for loving acceptance.
Yesterday as we put a sleigh bed together, I found myself in the esteemed role of mechanic. I knew we’d put the heavy wooden pieces, pegs, screws and queen mattress in place and be done, Voila! Most of the admiration of my mechanical aptitude was in my own mind. The unknown came through as I listened more and knew less.
Clare, my wife, and I have gotten to the age where lifting the pieces of the bed was more than either of us could manage individually, comfortably, safely. Yet I knew this was a job I could handle by myself if she weren’t there. But of course she insisted on protecting: me the, bed, the walls, her. There I was feeling totally ready and able, and there she was not understanding what I was thinking or planning, and managing to interfere with my plans. I KNEW what to do, or so went my thinking and feelings.
During the process of procuring, transporting and assembling the bed I’ll say I had thirty or forty moments of “knowing” what to do. I had been right on the cusp of choosing, which Clare didn’t even seem to know were there. How could such sureness in me be so missing in her. I felt diminished.
Those moments of sureness, of “I” know-ness, mostly appeared in my belly as tightening, and then almost immediately behind my eyes and rolling up my throat into words of protest.
But the words didn’t come out. They stopped where I found them beginning in my body.
Knowing certainty, feeling completely sure I am right, has become a warning signal. Usually this knowing has come with an urgency to push or state or even demand to have a voice for myself. And almost every time I’ve followed that heated impulse I have caused pain for my self and for others.
IT TURNS OUT THESE MINI-CRISES ARE POINTS OF EVOLUTION, GROWTH, KNOWABLE BY THEIR URGENCY, AND PEACEFUL PAYOFF WHEN I LET THEM BE BACKGROUND RATHER THAN FOREGROUND
So I’m learning to listen. I’m learning to listen to my self (Higher Self), which is always waiting, offering wisdom, peace. Stopping I found an expansive understanding which accepted my knowing as just one possibilty among hundreds.
Putting the bed together was as intimate and demanding, vulnerable and strong as any of the countless experiences I’ve had with Clare my wife. She’s asleep in the bed now as I muse and share, appreciating the unfolding of my life with her, our growing family, and our dog snoring gently next to me.
This post was previously published on THEFATHERCONNECTION.WORDPRESS.COM.
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