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I have A Secret That Nobody Knows

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Woman on a wooden swing overlooking a waterfall as is she's pondering the world.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin

That’s it, really. A fun play on words and we’re done. But, in all seriousness. The secret I’m here to share today, is that no one really knows anything. Not truly. Sure, we get experience in doing things and with practice we get more confident in doing that thing, but do we ever really KNOW? Is it possible to truly know what we’re doing in an ever-shifting reality?

Ask any parent if they know what they’re doing—really doing. Even parents of multiple children. Or ask a seasoned executive at a company who's been doing it for twenty years. Or even the most confident person in your life. If they are truly honest with themselves they might tell you they have no idea; that they don’t truly know anything. Because knowing means there’s nothing else to learn and that there’s no more mistakes to be made or challenges to face.

With the ever-changing world we live in, and the speed at which life asks us to adapt, it’s impossible to truly know anything. For example, we can’t possibly know the future. We can plan as best we can. We can look at data, at trends, and even our past actions as a way to learn and perhaps avoid those same outcomes in the future, but ultimately, there’s really no way to KNOW.

As we get older and graduate to adulthood there's this expectation that we know more things and that we master them quickly. The stakes are higher, certainly, when we don’t. But, there is a certain freedom in allowing ourselves to not know—to give ourselves the room to learn. Which is why, it might come as a relief that you don’t have to have the answers to anything (I mean any more than anyone else does).

When I first starting writing the Milo series I had no idea what I was doing. Some might say I failed spectacularly at first. But, I didn't see it that way. I started with the premise that I was learning and I didn’t pretend to know. I think that honesty with myself gave me the courage to learn. And this courage has spurred me on a decade later. It’s this courage to not know, that also enables me to receive wisdom and feedback (both positive and negative) from others. It’s what helps me continually to be open to others in their world views and their experiences of adversity. Because admitting I have no idea what I’m doing and that I will never truly know a thing pushes me to practice, to learn, and to listen. It helps me let my guard down and to not feel like I have to be right or that I have to dig my heels into my own belief system to maintain my sense of self or my sense of equilibrium. The unknowingness allows me to adapt to the moment exactly as it shows up. And I have to tell you it is the secret to suffering less. I don’t have to let my ego drive the car anymore. Boy, was that exhausting. I can just be. Listen. Show up. And release. All in the order.

There is a simple rhythm to life now that feels a lot more attuned to my true nature. An ebb and flow, that enables me to access the basic freedom of unknowingness. During these uncertain times, perhaps leaning in to the unknowingness is exactly what we need to be right here. For me personally, I find moment- to- moment living to be life saving. I invite you to give yourself this same gift, if you can. It can be terrifying at first. So buckle up. But, the more you practice, the more you find liberation and joy. And that is really what we all deserve.

Sending so much love.


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