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Why Saying I Don’t Know Is Important by Chris Cade

A couple of months ago, my son and I were staying at my parents’ house. I was going to a retreat that weekend with my spiritual school. While I was gone, my son and parents would play together.

The night beforehand, my father knew that the following day they would be going to a fun amusement park. He asked my son, “So what do you think we’re going to do tomorrow?”

His response:

“I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”

My father followed up:

“Well, what do you think we might do?”

“I don’t know. We’ll find out.”

I experienced gratitude in that moment because I knew my son understood, at least a little bit, one of the most important life teachings any of us can learn: How to embrace the mystery.

The mystery is where we live 100% of our life. Every moment is in the mystery. We might think we “know” what is coming up, but truly we don’t.

Just ask that to anybody who has had a heart attack, been in a car crash, been diagnosed with cancer, lost a loved one unexpectedly, been fired from a job, had a partner break up with them out of the blue, went to the store to buy something specific and it was out of stock, won the lottery…

Or phrased a different way:

Ask anybody in the world if they can be 100% certain what the next moment holds. I don’t think there’s a sane person in this world, not even the most renowned psychics, who can always state they know with certainty what the future holds.

(even if they can get “many of the moments” right and/or “good enough”)

Yet our mind wants to think it knows what the future holds. We create patterns of expectation based on previous experience. When we get in the car to drive to work we expect to get to work. We’d even bet on it.

When we enter into a new relationship, we already have expectations. What do we need to be in relationship? Can that person give it to us? Can we give them what they need? Will the relationship last long or end short?

When we work, we expect things to go a certain way. In some cases, if they don’t go a certain way we will lose our job or be penalized in some way.

Some of this is conscious. Most of it is subconscious. Our brains have been conditioned to see the world in specific ways according to our past experiences. Sometimes that historical conditioning is helpful. We don’t have to re-learn how to eat, move, or use the restroom.

Unfortunately, historical conditioning also creates expectations about the future that limit our effectiveness to live fully. As long as we expect things to go a certain way we can never see them for how they really are.

Expectations are filters which prevent us from seeing the power inherent in the unknown mysteries of the Universe. Expectations prevent us from experiencing the world in a personally meaningful way.

It’s not our fault that we hold such grand expectations about the world. As a child it was necessary for us to make sense of the world. Few parents can balance giving a child boundaries and a solid foundation with an effective understanding and trust of the unknown. Many parents often try too hard to have all the right answers for children.

Sometimes it’s easier to make up an answer than try to explain something effectively using age-appropriate terms…

“Where do babies come from?”

Sometimes parents fear that kids aren’t ready or can’t comprehend difficult experiences or concepts…

“Why do people kill each other?”

Sometimes parents feel like they have to be ‘all knowing’ for their children (and/or themselves)…

“Why is the sky blue?”

Some parents feel they need to create fairytales so their children can develop a sense of faith and mystery…

“Is Santa Claus real?”

There are many reasons why parents have told little white lies to their children. Those reasons are usually well-intentioned, and they all come down to wanting some degree of certainty in the world for themselves and/or their children. It comes down to not completely trusting the unknown mystery that is inherent in every single moment. Or they just don’t have the first clue how to answer a difficult question, and to relieve their unconscious feelings of helplessness they try to come up with anything that is “good enough.”

Few people living today truly trust and embrace the mystery. It’s just not something most of us were taught. I’m learning this more and more with each passing day.

Fortunately, it’s never too late to choose something different for ourselves and others. Instead of always having the answer, let’s get used to saying things like:

“I don’t know.”

Quietly you can also say in the back of your mind, “And it’s okay.”

You can even follow it up with “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” or “I don’t know exactly how to answer that. I want to, I just don’t have the right words. Let me think about it.”

It’s okay to not know.

In fact, when you truly enter the space of not knowing then you allow your innate natural curiosity to come forth. It’s by not knowing that you can truly embrace and take delight in the mystery that is available to each of us.

For the next week or so, pay attention to your relationship with “knowing” and “not knowing.”

When are you trying to “have an answer?” When do you think you know how things will or should go? When are you trying to cover up the feeling of not knowing something?

And on the other hand, notice what your experience is like when you truly don’t know something. Is it scary? Is it comforting? Is it painful? Is it joyful?

Everybody will have different responses to the unknown.

Here’s the kicker…

As long as you have reactions to the unknown, you’re still using the filter of your past conditioning to look at the unknown!

Your Partner In Transformation,
Chris Cade
Liberate Your Life

P.S. There’s a difference between real “not knowing” and “not knowing within a range of possibilities.” It’s not truly “not knowing” to say “I don’t know if I’m going to get hurt in this relationship.”

Real “not knowing” is being able to step back even further and say, “I don’t know who I am or who this other person is. Let’s start relating and see what we discover.”

P.P.S. If you’d like to systematically let go of some of your past conditioning and live with more strength, courage, willpower, and trust in the mystery, then check out my Liberate Your Life program.

Several lessons look at the specific barriers and blockages we have to embracing the unknown. Then Liberate Your Life helps you discover a deeper peace, joy, comfort, and abundance in your life that can only be found by understanding and embracing the mystery.

Click Here And Learn More About Liberate Your Life


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One Response to “Why Saying I Don’t Know Is Important by Chris Cade”

  1. Larissa says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I plan on showing this to my mother as I grew up with her being angry at me whenever I said ‘I don’t know’. Almost every time, she would say, ‘How can you not know?’
    Even now I have to remind myself that I don’t need to be an expert on everything.
    I became rather frustrating when she continued doing this with my daughter. At least with me, my daughter knows that it’s ok to say if she doesn’t know something.

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