Recently I’ve been confronting a place in myself where I don’t have answers.
I’ve been looking at hooking up with a small company, and great team of folks, as a sizable chunk of my practice. Their work is right up my ally, I’m sync-ed up with the values, and I really like the people – so, for the most part, it’s all systems go.
But recently, as the discussions of my potential role intensify, I notice myself confronting a range of acute feelings – some practical and worldly – some deeply internal. They range from excitement about the vision to something close to terror.
I’m not always good at separating which feelings are data for me about the real situation and which feelings are bubbling up from some subterranean part of my soul that is both exhilarated and confronted.
Maybe you can recognize this place – where you’re looking into a deep pool of not knowing, a place of no obvious answers, a whirlpool that feels uncontrollable and therefore uncomfortable (at least for me).
I call it the void – a space of not knowing and unknowing that has its own mysterious energy.
The void is where our own stories get projected on to the silver screen – with a series of dramatic images that keep moving and morphing.
The void is where the sirens sing out from the depths, luring us with images that confound past, present, and future, making it difficult for us to be certain what’s real.
When we look at the void, do we see:
- Visions and opportunities?
- Memories of past nightmares?
- Stardust and sparkling lights that give us hope?
- Gremlins that jump out from behind our own shadows?
- Warm recollections and voices inviting us to trust?
The void can feel potent, full of possibility, or paralyzing.
Embracing the void is one place, friends, where I feel challenged and have no answer to share.
The void is demanding. It asks me to be willing to grow – to tolerate the unknown – and to let go of images and stories that no longer serve me.
Without answers, I turn to poetry for comfort.
This week, I found a poem by Rilke that I share with you:
You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.
So many live on and want nothing
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.
But what you love to see are faces
that so work and feel thirst….
You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by Robert Bly.
So I offer my challenge to you as I explore this void…to dive “into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret.”
With compassion and vulnerability,