love the questions themselves

Do you ever come across words that speak the language of your soul? I have realized this tendency of mine to be drawn to poets and prophets that speak words that my soul recognizes. I’ve discovered that these words carry me through the different phases of my life, and when they have run their course, I move on and new words will find me. For example, I’ve been drawn to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke in this most recent phase. This quote, particularly, has deeply resonated:

…I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, 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.

I suppose it is because I have found myself at a place where I realize how much of life is unstable and uncertain. I went through several months this year feeling this queasiness in my stomach, as this subconscious awareness was moved to conscious awareness. Uncertainty is scary, yes. But what if we embraced the uncertainty and mystery of life instead of feared it? I started putting this into practice this year, and I am amazed at how this ability to embrace mystery has actually filled me with peace. And I am even more amazed to observe that this peace came from somewhere deep inside me. It has been there all along, waiting to be seen and felt.

Peace I leave you. My peace I give to you.


The questions themselves are like locked rooms or a book in a very foreign language, says Rilke. Rilke must have been personally acquainted with the suffering of the human mind. He knows intuitively that life’s experiences sometimes invite us to embrace mystery. And mystery invites us into the here and now– to live with the ability to peacefully hold loosely the unresolved things– to be okay with not having closure for a time. This is possible, I assure you. The hardest part is catching yourself in the storyline the mind will try to create to offer resolution or a possible future outcome. It takes practice, but peace comes when we learn to hold the tension of that which is unresolved. We learn to surrender ourselves to mystery and the process of the unfolding of life, accepting reality as it is, living more peacefully in the present moment.

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