The Gift of Not Knowing

Not knowing has been a constant companion in my life.

Unfortunately, too often, one that I didn’t value or accept.Old Main

I was inspired by an article on not knowing by Gail Brenner. In the article, she states, “As I see now, it was always this way, peace was always available, but the power of my attachments kept it hidden from view. Every attachment contains within it a seed of resistance to what is.”

Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening.  ~David Deida

With all my experience in not knowing, you might think I’ve made friends with the unknown. Unfortunately, that mostly hasn’t been the case. In my resistance to not knowing, I not only locked in the not knowing, but created endless pain. Lately, I’ve been learning to accept myself, my life and my imperfections. Occasionally, I enter the zone of not knowing called acceptance, which can lead to gratitude and even bliss!

Adam Cambell of the Possibility Alliance in NE MO talks about embracing mystery as a way to discover life and aliveness. Embrace the fullness and richness of life; both the joys and sorrows. He seems to be a wise young man, having taken time to travel, reflect and help create an intentional community. His community is based upon the vision to be agents for love and aliveness. Here is a wonderful article in which he talks about his life, values and community. 

As I learn to embrace my life as it is, including the not knowing, I open my mind and heart to new possibilities. Compassion plays a big part in this journey too. I’ve written before about our endless striving to be better, do more, achieve happiness, stardom and riches. And if we are really good, maybe even Nirvana. I’m learning to offer myself compassion; for not having all the answers, not being perfect, making mistakes, worrying, not living up to my ideals and the principals that I write about.

At those times, when I accept or even surrender to what is, I’ve experienced the peace and joy that have no reason. They are simply the gifts of not knowing, only being.

Maybe it’s time to relax like I wrote about in my new year’s intention. What do you think?

Have you found that place of acceptance or even curiosity for the unknown? If so, then you have found the gift of not knowing.


10 thoughts on “The Gift of Not Knowing

  1. I’m with you, it is so hard to let go of that control and just say, “What will be, will be.” I’ve been working on it for the past few years, and it gets a little (and I do mean little) easier every day. Good luck! You’ll be happier for it.


    • Yes, and there seems to be a moving balance between accepting what is and intending, reaching and acting for more. All in all, gratitude and acceptance are wonderful tools to create happiness in the now. I love the focus of your blog. Thanks for visiting mine. Brad


  2. While reading this, I couldn’t help but think about our conversation last night. It may be a little contrived to make the connection, but your statement, “With all my experience in not knowing, you might think I’ve made friends with the unknown”, made me think how I should have replied to your comment about not being comfortable experimenting with new cuisines. I seem to recall that one of the purposes of the group was to broaden our horizons, at least in our kitchens. One of my mantras is now NIKE (just do it). If I can do it at my age, you can too! If you need any help, just let me know. See you next Saturday.


  3. Thanks Teresa, Yes, I see the connection and my post is referring to bigger questions in my life like what is my purpose and what gifts to bring to the world. The smaller unknowns are easier to accept and “just do it”. Thanks for the offer of help. If you can solve those 2 big riddles, I would be grateful. 🙂


  4. Adam’s views on life were amazing. Loved the push for simplicity, the celebration of unexpected detours, powering down the gadgets and truly being with one another, and freeing ourselves from those “golden handcuffs” aka, chasing after things we’re not even certain we want, but because everyone else is doing it!

    Then, just as I finish reading his interview, reinvigorated to serve the world without expectations, I spot your “No arms, No legs, No worries” video on fb. Oh my!! It all ties together for me: accepting ourselves fully and celebrating what we do have to offer the world instead of what we think we may lack, and getting out there and not allowing anything to hold us back…

    Once again, Brad, you open my eyes and heart to wonderful news I would otherwise miss. Thank you from the depths of my soul! 😀


  5. You’re most welcome my dear Shauna.

    Now if only I could live what I write and share. I’m really writing my own lessons. And thanks for reflecting it back to fully accept and celebrate what I do have. I’m taking a class on abundance, crafting bigger dreams to step into AND being grateful for what I AM and do have now. Thanks so much for your loving support. I’d love to have many more readers like you! 🙂

    To more acceptance and celebration!!! blessings, Brad


  6. I love this column, Brad. And aren’t we humans humorous in that we seem to need to keep learning what you write about over and over again…(I’m with you, there!). I love the word ‘Mystery’ to encompass the whole amazing mystery of life, us, and the sacred ‘Divine’ that is All….the Nothing and the Everything, the Formless and the Form….and the enormous ‘don’t know’! I recently read 2 books I enjoyed alot by Tim Freke… the Mystery Experience and How Long is Now. (he’s a philosopher/teacher/comedian!). He points out….(loosely quoting) we’re animals clinging to a hunk of rock that’s spinning around a nuclear furnace surrounded by unimaginable numbers of galaxies and stars…. already insanely mysterious! AND we can access a sacred, spiritual reality.
    And having radical self acceptance (title of an excellent book by Tara Brach) and compassion for self and others seems to me, like you’re saying, very fundamental.
    Ok, enough rambling after my coffee, ha! thanks for your continued excellent columns, Brad.


  7. Welcome back my friend, I’m grateful to know you and have you visit my blog. I love your reflections about mystery. It’s a much better and flowing way to live when we embrace the divine mystery of it all. Tim Freke sounds like fun and someone I’d like to read. I guess we better strap in for the nuclear blastoff, aided by coffee, humor, acceptance and friends!

    Thanks Leslie!


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