My 4 (almost 5) year old has been struggling to accept the reality that no one knows everything and that includes him. He hates being wrong. He hates not knowing the plan. He does not like not to be “in the know.”
And, as all parents know, when you are teaching your kids these type of life lessons, you often end up learning a whole lot, as well. You get reminded of the basics. As adults, we forget the simple things in life like accepting fault, saying sorry, giving a hug or just saying “I do not know” can have serious impact on our life and happiness.
Do you hate not knowing things? Are you the kind of person who gets frustrated when you feel like you are unsure of your future? Do you get irritable or nervous when you are criticized or told that you are wrong?
If so, listen to this – admitting, even just to yourself, that you do not know something/everything/anything is super, duper, super, extra, awesomely freeing.
You cannot possibly know everything. You may not even know what will happen tomorrow. Or, you may think you have a plan only to realize that you need to reevaluate that plan.
The inability to see the future, know where we go when we die, or understand complex biological phenomena is an ongoing frustration for us humans. And, that is where so many of us turn to religion. For some, this can spell trouble.
(If you are a new reader, please let me say in the most respectful manner that I do not believe in God and I am not a religious person. But, there is no reason that you cannot apply this mantra to your life in any way that you see fit.)
So, practice saying to yourself:
I DO NOT KNOW.
When you ask yourself…
Where will I end up in my career?
How will my kids turn out?
What will my husband do for my birthday?
… instead of getting anxious or worried at the uncertainty just sit quietly with the sense that you don’t know. This is not because you are dumb, lack perceptiveness or are doing anything wrong. The human experience is largely made up of not knowing, learning as we go and trying our best.
So, what should you do with this mantra? How should you use it?
I don’t know.