All my life I have been motivated by curiosity. If I do not understand a word, I look up the meaning straight away on Dictionary.com. Google is my best friend, as is Wikipedia. I love love love that we have the internet and that answers to my questions are at my finger tips.
Of course some answers are not so easy to find. Like “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning of life?” Specifically, what is the meaning of my life?” And..”What exactly, is the point, anyway?”
While I have never got sucked into the vortex of these questions and fallen, like Alice, down the rabbit hole, into a dark and twisted existential crisis, lost in the impossibility of the answers, I have held these questions as a kind of beacon, their light shining just ahead, pulling me forward to continue my own inner journey, and in the process finding answers that bring peace, if not certainty. Sure, there have been days where it has seemed pointless. But these days for me have been rare. Mostly, I am in love with the mystery of it all. And in awe.
I am not sure why I respond to life in this way. In love with the mystery. Maybe it is because I am an adventurer at heart, and the inner adventure is as much fun, for the most part, as the one in the outside world. My curiosity pulls me. “Why did I just agree to do that?” “Wow, that was an interesting response Christine. What’s going on with you girl?” I find myself observing myself with fascination. And my quick little mind is happy at work, analyzing, finding meaning, making sense of.
Of course there are some things that simply do not make sense at all. Like why, exactly, are we so attracted to THAT particular person? Or why this happened? Or that?
And here in lies the beauty of life. Are we able to stand living in the mystery? Can our rational mind be allowed to relinquish control about some things, and not have all the answers available, lined up in neat little rows? For many people, this mystery unravels them. Their need to have a rational explanation, to be in control of their world, is so great, that the burden of not knowing truly sucks them into a dark rabbit hole. The impossibility of finding a rational answer to the questions pecking at them becomes so unsustainable, yet like an addict, they keep asking, lost, lost in their need.
Living in the mystery allows for the adventure to continue. If we have been everywhere, and experienced everything, why have an adventure? If we know all the answers, and have no more questions, what happens then? Does life stop? I think not. I think that that is the point. First, that the beauty of the ever unfolding mystery of life is the main adventure, and our not knowing is the pull, like the eternal seeking for that one lover who really does complete you. And that when we reach a place of inner knowing, when our questions stop because we have found the source of truth, that doesn’t mean the adventure stops. It means that the adventure now is all about observing how this allows life to unfold around us. Rather like going to an fabulous movie and being swept up in the story. (As I haven’t reached that place I can only conjecture.)
The tragedy is when people lose their love of the mystery. For whatever reason, life wears them down, and their inner fatigue and exhaustion is so overwhelming that they lose all interest in living in the mystery. They become buried in resignation and hopelessness. Many times we have confused clinical depression with a spiritual crisis. A spiritual crisis demands that we go inside and do the work. A spiritual crisis is usually brought on by the loss of something that makes no sense. It could be the loss of a loved one, or a job, or something a little more subtle, like the loss of our sense of self. Whatever the trigger, the demand and requirement is for us to go inside and sit with some of the questions that define us, and to preferably do this inner work with the support of someone skilled in staying with you as you lose your rational mind to be reunited with the mysterious. This is the work I do.
Someone how knows the nuances of the terrain on the inside, the need for silence, the need to be in nature, then need to rediscover beauty. Who has the ability to ask the gentle and hard questions birthed in infinite compassion, all the while responding to the unfolding unraveling aware of the majesty of kairos time.
What I have learned in my own inner journey are the essentials to pack as we embark, or continue on our adventure.
*A curious mind.
*The willingness to not know and surrender to the not knowing.
*A exquisite love of beauty, be it art, or music, poetry or nature. These things transcend the rational. Art, music, poetry capture what we are not able to capture in words. Sitting in nature and really looking at its incredible complexity and infinite beauty takes us out from our small mind games.
*The support of a steward coach or two, or a teacher or guide.
*A daily practice that keeps us grounded, earthed, embodied.
*An open heart.
*A good sense of humor. Learn to laugh at yourself and the shear paradox of it all.
In 1995 I held my own weekend retreat, attended by myself and an extensive list of questions. At the end of that journey of inner contemplation, I wrote my personal mission statement, which I very slightly amended in 2002.
Here it is. It doesn’t speak of who I am as much as the place I hold for myself. Sometimes I do not get it right. No matter. I come back and start again. This is my inner guide. More than anything, this mission statement reminds me of the beauty of living in the mystery.
3-1-95, amended Jan 2002
To live my truth at all times, allowing my spirit to shine forth graciously and inspire others to acknowledge their own magnificence.
To be humble and open, in surrender to God’s grace.
To trust in the Divine Energy.
To love comprehensively.
To respect and honour the physical Universe and my own physicality.
To be, joyously, all that I am.
To laugh often, and share my joy abundantly.
To be a willing and gracious disciple of life’s lessons.
To openly receive the abundance of the Universe, to give gratefully.
To be a wise steward to all the wealth that comes to me.
To be Bold.
To embrace life’s adventure.
To be a loving and present mother, an intimate and committed lover, a compassionate and available friend, an honourable and loving daughter, a courageous inspirational leader, a responsible citizen of our glorious Earth.
To acknowledge the source of my creative intelligence and my responsibility for all that exists in my Universe.
To embody the essence of integrity and inspire integrity in others.
To be my truth, my spirit, my love…..
I would love to hear from you about how you live in the mystery….
2:23AM Integrity is the Essence
Relevant. Provocative. At the frontier of human enterprise for a better world. Join us. Subscriber only articles and special offers. Plus FREE Personal Integrity Inventory.