~ by Tom Rook ~
I have always felt that "I should'a known."
I was told as a child, "You should know better... you're the oldest." I somehow waited for the day when my "oldest" position would endow me with the knowledge that everyone expected of me. But until then, I acted a role... as if I did "know". I faked it all of my life. I never knew who I was or what I was supposed to do, but I always acted "as if" I knew.
So now comes this wonderful, paradoxical, Personal Journey work. In every class I am confronted with the insight that this "should know" was a myth. I am fighting with the ego patterns of my past that still try to tell me that I should know, that I will know, and when I do know, life will become a breeze. But, I now see these ego patterns as false.
The reality of each class is quite different, and because it is coming from my experience, both in the class time and during the week between classes, I see that this conflict within me between ego-pattern and awareness has been going on all my life. I see that the "should know" has been the "unknown," the reality, a friend and has been a very important ongoing part of my life. So now, instead of hiding in shame, "unknown" is revealed as those times in the past when I was open to moments of great creativity, of great love, of great joy and pain... of really living. I am dumbfounded (finding myself dumb and found). I am happy and at the same time I feel a strange sense of loss. I am losing all those old voices and feelings of inadequacy that plagued me and kept me from living confidently "IN THE UNKNOWN." Hooray for the loss.
How do I embrace this new found "UNKNOWN?" It is not easy all the time because, if I don't catch it right away, the old pattern attaches itself and I once again beat myself up for not knowing it all. But when I do remember (and it happens more often as I practice this), to embrace the unknown as the true reality, and recognize that with the unknown, I can always choose to be "In The Love," and "In the Now." More and more I settle into that very real moment of "the Now, the Love, the Unknown," and find that it is always here, always filled with necessary secrets of the unknown, and that by tuning in with it I can ask myself, "What do I do right now?" And now I always find an answer.
Often the answer is, "I don't know." What a concept! Paradoxical, liberating and truthful, without judgment. "I don't know." By not knowing and knowing that I do not know, I do NOTHING in that moment. I learn about waiting (called patience). I learn about trusting myself. Trust. Humility. Wisdom. Fortitude. Kindness (especially towards myself, for I am in the Love). I am experiencing all those virtues that were drilled into me in catechism class, virtues that were all held out as almost impossible to attain. And they feel good. I thought only saints had them, and that saints were different than ordinary people like me. (Of course, to be labeled a saint in the Catholic church, you had to be dead. I am glad to be alive!)
The precious unknown is here with me every day. I never quite know what will come up next. There still is some unfinished business within me about "I should'a known," but as I work through my life every day, I remind myself that:
- I am always in the unknown,
- I am only in the now,
- I am in the love,
I am finding out how to live my life, day by day, and without as much self criticism or false expectations as before. And with a better sense of being alive, serving the love. I'm doing what life wants me to do, right now, by tuning in with free awareness. This is truly my personal journey.
--Tom Rook is a retired filmmaker and yoga-philosophy teacher--