We sat in silence. There was nothing to say. My client, whom I’ll call Darla, had just finished telling me about some unwanted circumstances she found herself in. Not just one upsetting event, but a seeming avalanche of problems with conflicting and unpleasant options for solving them.
She was confused. How did she end up here? Where had she made a wrong turn? What did she need to shift?
Darla is an earnest , enthusiastic and highly effective explorer of energy and consciousness. She’s gained a keen understanding of the power of intention and how to harness it. She’s acknowledged and dissolved more than a few crusty beliefs that have limited her. She’s honed her ability to recognize and act on her true inner guidance. She knows the difference between letting go and being in denial. She’s intuitive, focused and highly self-aware. She’s created and experienced wondrous things she once only dreamed of.
She’s been on a roll, growing and expanding and claiming her power to create a life she adores.
Yet here she is, this newly minted master of manifestation, sitting amidst chaos and confusion and, frankly, more than a few situations that are the polar opposite of what she actually wants. Instead of continuing to move forward with ease, she feels paralyzed and uncertain and afraid. Things are not going well.
She’s tempted to analyze every step and nuance of the creative process. Did she have subterranean counter-intentions of which she was unaware? Might she still be holding onto an insidious belief in her unworthiness? Did she fail to recognize and act on a key piece of inner guidance? Is she too attached to a particular outcome? Has she unwittingly allowed her vibration to drop into the “unwanted things” frequency? Is she blaming and complaining rather than appreciating and celebrating? Is she losing her focus on what she wants? Should she be meditating more?
The questions are seemingly endless, as are the possible “reasons” for being where she is. Yet we both know that she can’t analyze her way to profound insight. That’s why we’re sitting in silence.
Even now, as I recount this experience, I do so from a stance of inner silence. Part of me – like the part of Darla who wants to figure things out – wants to offer you a shining new insight about what’s going on that will make you smile in recognition: “Yes, that’s it! That’s what’s going on. I’ve been there myself and this is just the reminder I need of how to navigate through these times.”
That part of me could make a convincing case for any or all of the possible explanations Darla considered being true. She could also make a convincing case for a different truth, one that recognizes that the very act of asking those questions is, itself, getting in the way of Darla’s happiness because it arises from a deep-seated fear of being wrong, and living in fear is not what Darla wants.
The part of me who wants to illuminate a particular point of view for you might also suggest that rather than thinking in terms of right and wrong, we better serve ourselves by thinking in terms of life-affirming or life-denying – and that there is great value and comfort in having the awareness to discern one from the other. Even when we’re in a life-denying place, that doesn’t make us “wrong;” it’s simply a reminder that we need to pause, breathe and find new ways of affirming life.
Back to the silence. The few moments I spent writing the last two paragraphs have created inner static rather than inner peace. That’s what happens when we try to figure out with our minds what can only be gleaned from an ever-deepening connection with Divine Mind. No matter how far we’ve come and how much we now understand – no matter how valid and true our current level of insight may be, and how useful it’s been in getting us where we are right now – it may no longer be valid for where we’re going.
Sometimes, when things aren’t going the way we want them to go, we can step back and see a bigger picture. If we’re honest with ourselves, we recognize what we need to let go of, what we need to do differently or what we need to express, and we do it. But there are times when things aren’t going the way we want them to go, and a bigger picture is not emerging. Nothing makes sense. The practices and principles and prayers we’ve used in the past have seemingly lost their power. We don’t know what to do.
Which is a helpful thing, because those are the times for doing nothing. For accepting that we simply do not know. For giving ourselves time and space to be in the not-knowing. For suspending all judgment about where we think we should be. For being willing to consider that what we thought we wanted may no longer be a reflection of who we are becoming.
Times when we don’t know how to move forward are sacred times. I’m not talking about times when we feel merely frustrated or stuck. I’m talking about times when everything we thought we knew about how life “works” seems like nothing more than a set of flimsy rules someone made up for a child’s game. (Which, perhaps, they are.) These are times for slowing down, being kind to ourselves and taking only the step in front of us to take.
These are times for silence.