This is what went through my head recently, and it occurred to me that it might help to share it.
There are any number of things that I do and study. Ideas, concepts, practical and impractical notions for self-help, personal growth and development, conscious reality creation, manifestation, and overall living a life I would most desire to live.
I’ve been over a lot of different resources, listened to numerous audiobooks, read books and blogs, meditated, and spent time in and out of therapy over the years. I take an antidepressant to maintain my equilibrium, accepting a family history and my own longtime war with depression.
Like you, I have good days and bad days with this. Sometimes things happen that make you question your self worth, your place in the world, and your plans and goals. Things will test your resolve, and cause you to question everything.
That’s where I am, in particular right now. This is not just me at a crossroads in my life, or working to be as content and happy as I can be, this is finding and maintaining balance.
Some recent events in my life brought me where I am now. Most of these were things outside of my control, so I just had to roll with them. Rather than get flustered or upset about negatives that happened, I chose to see this as an opportunity.
Despite this, there are still days where I get flustered and upset. Because this will cause questioning about, well, everything, I realize that while I certainly have some of the answers, in truth I know nothing.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I may know nothing, but I can work with that
What’s infuriating about this is that it causes me to want to second-guess my choices. Decisions I have made that are yet to bear fruit feel questionable. That which I believe to be my purpose I really start to think I could be wrong about.
But then I pause. Breathe. Wow is this annoying. I thought I knew what I know, but maybe I know nothing. No, I know I know nothing, and wow, that’s infuriating. But I can work with that.
How do I work with that? I need to press on. If I give up and give in, then I accept a reality that I do not desire to. I can either stop putting out the effort to consciously create my reality, or I can redouble my efforts.
Of course I know nothing. And what that means, when all is said and done, is that I have the capacity to learn more.
Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” What does that mean? It means that for everything we know, or we think we know, there is more that we do not know.
The only thing that anyone can exert the least bit of control over is your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Mindfulness is all about recognizing and working with that. But sometimes outside influences, long-held beliefs and frustrations, and even grey skies can override your inherent control, and leave you questing everything.
So there’s a choice to be made. I can see that I know nothing, but do I keep working on what I desire to know, or just go with what I think is expected of me and accept that I know nothing? The answer is going to be dependent on whether I believe knowing nothing makes me fight or flee.
The wisdom of knowing nothing
Recognizing that you know nothing means that you see that there is room to grow. You can choose to run away from this, or to embrace it and fight when you are overcome with hopelessness and the idea that knowing nothing makes you unworthy.
That, for me, is what can be so infuriating. What’s the point of learning stuff if I still know nothing? The answer is, the more I learn, the more I discover can be learned.
Here’s the things that gets to be the most mind-bending. The amount of information available to be learned is pretty much infinite. As I explain to everyone I ever teach rapier combat to, I can show you probably five different ways to do the same damn thing, while another teacher can show you five beyond that. There is more to learn, and there is no One True Way.
This is the beauty of knowing nothing. You are open to learning constantly.
No, that is not going to lessen the frustration when things are not going smoothly. It can heighten that feeling of aggravation when you are having a bad day, and it can make you question your worth and value.
Everybody has bad days. This doesn’t make you less than. It won’t make you less worthy and deserving of anything you try to do with your life. Roll with it, but don’t give up.
I know I know nothing. It’s like an iceberg that could sink my ship, the how much there is I do not know. But that’s not a bad thing.
Deep breath. Let’s see what I can learn today, and chip away at that nothing iceberg.