“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”
– William S. Burroughs
How does one achieve peace of mind? How does one quell constant inner chatter?
I was contemplating this yesterday on my run. Quiet meditation in stillness is often hard for me, so meditation for me really means going on a long run. One foot in front of the other, in rhythmic repetition hitting a trail or pavement is where I find healthy solace. There are stretches where I zone out completely and have a silent mind. At other times, I gently ease into deep thought. (Well, as gently as one could while working up a sweat.)
Mid-run, a thought dawned upon me: I just want to live the questions.
Rather than fret about the future, or try to find the answers for everything, I just want to relax and accept that I will never know all the answers. Where will I be in five years? Will I regret the decisions I made today? I don’t know and I won’t know until I’ve lived the questions. There is no crystal ball…no certainty of anything anyway. So would I prefer to spend my life anxiously trying to anticipate or control the outcome? Or do I prefer to live the present moments and the questions into the future? That answer, at least, was clear. I want to live in the now. Beyond being the best that I can be, working hard, and being on a quest for constant growth, there are too many other factors outside of my control. So I must make peace with living the questions.
Do you want to live the questions, too?
Here’s some wisdom from Rainer Maria Rilke, a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
May you too, find peace in living the questions.