Monday’s Meditation: On Asking for Answers Known
The other day I turned to my compatriot, “I should just tell her no, right?” I asked.
I waited a couple seconds but got no answer.
“Right?” I said again, this time more forcefully.
“Oh,” came the response. “Wasn’t that question rhetorical?”
“Yes.” I answered. Meaning: so? That the answer to my question was obvious to both of us had nothing to do with my desire for one.
“Right.” he said.
Yesterday my friend called me up, saying she needed my advice. She preceded to give me a synopsis of a situation, outlining her feelings about it and the logistics surrounding it.
“I really just have to do it, I think.” she said, before adding, “So I just wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter if you have any. Do you?”
“Yeah.” I said between bites of peanut butter covered rice cake. “You really just have to do it, I think.”
“Yeah. That’s what I thought.” she said.
See, sometimes it feels like you’ve been left all alone to steer this massive ship. It’s at once totally exhilarating (I’m the one in charge, weeeee!) and terrifying (Oh shit, what if I steer this thing off course while no one else is paying attention?). Sometimes, you just need to check back in. You need to have affirmed what you already know to be true by someone who is observing the trajectory of your journey from the sidelines- not one who’s enjoying the splash of the waves from onboard the very boat.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. While that’s undeniably true, they might also add that it takes a collective community to sustain a human. And that no one can be expected to be sure of themselves and how they ought to proceed every second of every day. That it’s not only okay but healthy to feel the need to consult with the people tracking your progress: is what I see what you see too? Am I making the right move? What should I do?
And the best part of it is that you usually know the answers. And the people who love you will know you know. They’ll listen to the predicament you’re pretending not to have already worked out anyway and when you reach the end they’ll say:
and: “You really just have to do it, I think.”
and: You’re doing just fine steering that thing on your own.Image credits: Ben Liney
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