Getting Comfortable with The Unknown

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you might find, you get what you need. ROLLING STONES

Many great scholars, scientists, philosophers and psychologists have spent their lives trying to understand the unseen parts of our minds – namely the subconscious or unconscious. Some believe that this part is far more powerful than the seen, conscious aspect. They believe it holds unimaginable intelligence and programming, far beyond the scope of our known thinking process.

Some believe that there might be a ‘collective mind’ uniting all subconscious minds together.

A few even believe that there is one single mind behind all of this, and that this ultimate single mind is what many call ‘God’…

Who knows? I certainly don’t.

I am not religious but I am deeply spiritual. What’s the difference? Well, to me, religion is God squeezed into a box. Spirituality, on the other hand, is God released from the box as an indefinable and limitless mystery (and, for me, not called God, as that is a big part of the box I created for him before I let him loose). I’m not religious, but I do strongly, confidently and lovingly know that there is a benevolent force behind us, and the more I align myself with this force and ask what it wants instead of what I want – the more beautiful my life becomes.

Surrendering to the process

Although deeply curious about what lies behind our puzzling existence, I’ve recently let go of my search for answers. All I know for sure is that when I relax my conscious mind and let whatever is behind it do it’s thing, my life goes much smoother and I feel far more peaceful.

I’ve started calling the process behind my conscious mind ‘The Unknown’ in order to remind myself that the details of how it works is not something that I need to define, box or pin down. It’s irrelevant. This name is a constant reminder that ‘The Unknown’ is an enigma that I don’t need to understand.

It just is. It’s beyond words and explanations.

This process is the force that drives all life, the planet and the universe. It is the mysterious knowledge that we don’t know ourselves.

It’s how I grew two babies in my tummy without having the faintest idea consciously of what to do myself.

It’s breathing, and all of the other intricate processes we use daily in our bodies but pay so little attention to.

It’s how an acorn has the blueprint to transform itself into a mighty oak.

It’s how species evolve and adapt in order to survive in an ever-changing planet (or not, as the case may be).

It’s an energy force that binds us all together and knows everything there is to know – far more than our conscious minds have any idea about. It knows exactly what it’s doing and each part we all play, even though we often don’t understand ourselves.

It’s the all-knowing director behind the play that we haven’t yet seen.

Fear of The Unknown

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard this well-known phrase a few times, ‘fear of the unknown’. It’s taken on new meaning to me since I started calling this process ‘The Unknown’.

As humans, we are often uncomfortable with the unknown. We always want to be sure that we’re with the right person, we’re following the right path, we’re in the right career.

But what if we changed our position on these questions? What if we stopped wondering if each situation was right for us and just took it as a given that it was, purely because that’s where we are?

What if we started wondering instead why we’ve been given this situation and what we could learn from it?

Maybe it is our fear and resistance to the unknown that keeps us away from the internal peace we seek. Maybe it is our desire to have everything clear-cut and defined before it happens that causes us so much suffering.

I have no problem with curiosity; I think we should all keep questioning. And thinking about what we want is a healthy way of participating in the beautiful dance of life.

But here’s what I’ve learnt: after asking questions and exploring possible outcomes, then, I need to let go, get quiet and listen for answers.

This ‘simple but not easy’ act helps me to live an infinitely happier existence. When I remember that ‘The Unknown’ knows best – not me – internal and external peace settles in.

And what’s crazy is that the more I do this, the more things go the way I want them to anyway, but on a much grander scale.

Right action

Using this process doesn’t mean sitting back and doing nothing (although some sitting back and doing nothing is very helpful). It’s not passive or lethargic. It’s relaxed but at the same time alert, active, ready. It’s a peaceful place between laissez-faire and grasping control.

I’m allowing the river to run its course whilst consciously steering the boat to keep it from hitting the banks.

It involves developing an unwavering faith that: 1) everything in the past happened for a reason to bring me to this point; 2) I’m exactly where I need to be right now; and 3) I’ll be guided to exactly where I need to go in the future.

When I live with this faith (which admittedly, I still need to fake sometimes), it becomes so much clearer when to take action and when to stay still.

Following your course

My life, like every ones, is a unique curriculum. All I need to do is follow it and find the peaceful centre within my own assignments. That’s the only true way I can get what I really want (which is never what I think it is).

I can’t always get what I want, but I do always get exactly what I need: for my highest evolutionary growth and the growth of everyone around me. When I live with this mantra, an all-abiding peace sets in and amazing things start to happen.

Recommended reading

After writing this article, a book fell into my lap that sums this up much more beautifully than I have. If this post resonates with you I recommend reading God Explained in a Taxi Ride by Paul Arden, or in fact anything by him.

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