Persistence comes in handy. Without it I never would have the success I have today or even have figured out what was wrong with my printer this morning.
I’ve used persistence to help find answers when they were elusive and often felt inspired by Marie Forleo’s message that “everything is figureoutable”.
But then, something happened that made me realize choosing not to try and figure things out can also be an empowering choice. Here’s how it went down:
While attending a master’s program a few years back that met one weekend a month, I would stay in a hotel with 3 other women. We would get two adjoining double rooms and stay up late laughing our way through the night. We were quite a lively bunch and I cherished my time with these friends.
But, everything changed during the second year of the program.
My roomies developed a pattern of forgetting me for meals and leaving me stranded at school after dark. There was a lot of anger directed at me and I clearly no longer belonged. I was invisible, forgettable, and had apparently upset someone in a big way.
I had no idea what I had done so I went to work trying to figure it out.
It seemed that things started to go bad one morning when I went down to the hotel desk to pick up my bill and brought the others back as well. One of the women was very upset and at one point apparently accused me of convincing the staff to do something to her bill. This didn’t make sense to me, but she was never willing to have a conversation so I don’t know for sure what she was upset about.
What I do know is that I spent months trying to fix this. I literally made myself sick over it. What challenged me most was that I thought if I could figure it out I could prove it was just a misunderstanding and everything would be okay again. So, I spent months of my life energy focused on coming up with answers. It was practically all I could think about.
Eventually, I realized my insanity and that it wasn’t worth making myself sick over and just moved on. There were new friends and special connections made that never would have happened if I was still with the other group and I was grateful to not be hanging out with them when their friendships fell apart and they dropped out of school.
It took me months of pain, but I learned that not everything is figureoutable or worth spending my energy on. I will probably never know what really happened, but have found peace through letting go and forgiveness.
Now, I am a huge supporter of the words – I don’t know. When I face a question that feels fuzzy around the edges I ask myself if I want to spend time on it. Often, the answer is no.
It feels peaceful to not try and figure out life’s questions. I may have ideas and feelings about them, but some may be truly unfigureoutable from my lowly human perspective.
- What happens after we die? – I don’t know.
- Why does God let bad things happen? – I don’t know.
- What will the future bring? – I don’t know.
- Which politicians can we trust? – I don’t know.
I don’t need to have all the answers. Neither do you. We get to make choices about where we spend our life energy and sometimes that means accepting and letting go of figuring things out.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear what you have to say.