Our minds love to know. It’s why we Google everything imaginable. We love being the expert, knowing what decision to make, and what’s going to happen next. But in this desire to know and the ability to decide, we lose something.
We lose our ability to be in the not knowing. We lose our ability to sit in the groundlessness of uncertainty and undecidedness. Which means we also limit our ability to sit in possibility and wonder.
There are two times in life when the world shakes us from faux certainty into the realm of groundlessness:
One is falling in deep love with a person, place, or event. For a moment our hearts open and we fall into a space that can feel like walking on clouds or being slowly crushed by unseen forces. An experience most people describe as being both amazing and terrifying.
The other is when someone we know dies. Again our hearts open in love and in grief. All of a sudden we realize that despite all of our plans, preparations, and desires, our lives rest only the illusion of solid ground.
Both of these experiences—falling into love and plummeting into grief—ask us to step into not knowing. Not knowing why this person has so fully captured our heart. Not knowing why this person, vibrant and young or fully lived, has vanished from our world.
One moment we’re here, fully focused on our own thoughts and little plans. The next moment we’re lost in the deep waters of love or the deep confusion that arrives after death.
And yet in this not knowing is a gift. It reminds us to notice what we are taking refuge in. Though we spend most of our lives trying to create solid ground, there is no safety on shifting sands.
But when we learn to embrace the water, to allow ourselves to step into the vast tides of the unknown and the unknowable, wonder becomes commonplace.
Our practice is to learn to be with it—this not knowing, this groundless existence. To allow ourselves to feel it— whether that means lying on the grass gazing up at our lover’s eyes in the stars, or peering into the darkness, our hearts pouring from our eyes.
This groundlessness is deeper and more delicious than we can ever imagine. And within it is everything we are capable of being and becoming.