discovery in the doubts

March 26, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

I've been noticing how life-changing events can spiral one into self-doubt like nothing else.  As I scalded my skin in the shower this morning, I got to thinking about how confusing it can be for self-made, confident woman to suddenly find themselves thrown feet first into a viscous pool of self-doubt.  Just a few weeks ago, both my sister and I knew our purpose, knew our goals, knew our dreams. In a few short weeks, we both find ourselves wavering on the facts...what we thought we knew has been pulled out from underneath us and we are left on our asses looking around in panic, hoping no one saw.  The tail bone bruise hurts like a mother.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to expel self-doubt.  Sure it makes me vastly uncomfortable, but maybe doubt is nature's way of helping ourselves evolve.  Tragic surprises must change us, and if we weren't vulnerable in certain spots, how could we accept and make way for this change?  If we retain bravado all throughout the mourning process, how will we find new truths?  If we cling to our old understandings, how will we grab hold of the courage necessary to redefine our dreams in light of these grand changes?

Self-doubt is not forgetting how you feel, but perhaps instead realizing that you feel vulnerable.  
Self-doubt is not lack of confidence, but full faith in knowing that we must question before we can proceed.

And perhaps it is the actually the most confident person who can live in this doubt.

Questioning ourselves is (I strongly feel) a human duty. Since three girls are living in the wake of another person's choices, it is my strongest desire to live even more intentionally, listening to all manner of voices inside and expressing them with honesty to the people I love...and if I can't to them, to a therapist or a journal.  It's really sad to think that so many relationships fall apart because someone couldn't turn to their partner and say, "I think I'm unhappy.  Let's talk." 

I realize those words are horrible to hear.
But never as horrible as the words, "It's over."

After all, when we commit to someone, there IS a clause about it being worse than better...remember?

I'm reminded of something I read last year:

"And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must becoming knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrassed, perhaps also protesting. But don't give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and they day will come when, instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers-perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life." 
Rainier Maria Rilke 
Letters to a Young Poet, 102.

"I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer..."
Rainer Maria Rilke


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