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Capital Q

By Karen Wright

What are you most afraid of? Getting sick, going broke, losing a loved one, dying?

It occurred to me today that what I'm most afraid of is the Question. The one with a capital Q that haunts my mind like a foreign voice murmuring words that I know are important, but I can't understand.

It's the Question that interrupts my sleep and draws my attention away from things I know I must do. It churns in my stomach. I hide best I can, but it pursues me relentlessly.

Beyond the age of two, when questions are our favorite form of discourse, we tend to dislike questions. They point out what we don't know yet – and who enjoys that! Questions whisper that we aren't totally in control. They're clothed in uncertainty that disturbs our sense of safety.

As personally distressing as these Questions may be, they aren't really personal at all. They are as universal as breath. What am I doing with my life? Where am I going? What really matters? At one time or another all of us face such Questions. And the quality of our days is highly dependent upon what we do at that very moment. Run, wrestle, or regard?

It's likely you've found that running or wrestling doesn't get you far. You can't out-run or out-wit universal Mind. Fight or flight cannot vanquish this fear. Regarding the Question openly requires the development of a different muscle – that of wonder.

It's a muscle we've flexed when we crested the western ridge of a mountain and were awe-struck by a glorious sunset. Or when we first looked into the eyes of a newborn baby and felt at once humbled and exalted. For that one instant your persona merged into the miracle of life and Questions ceased.

That's the approach to life's sacred Questions that reveals what we long to know. Simply stand before the Question that's chosen you and let the Question breathe. Quietly hold the unknown. It is only unknown because you've kept turning away. It's not fearful. It's the running that has kept you in fear. Cultivate a relationship with the unknown. Relax and listen. Allow yourself to hear. It's your destiny speaking to you.

Still rather have the answer? Are you sure? If you aren't clear about the question how do you ever hope to understand the answer? I think I've finally learned that answers aren't all they're cracked up to be without a clear view of what the answer answers. So, I'm learning to appreciate the pondering, the reflecting, the patience to listen. The Question is the envelope in which the answer lies.

Do now what you are most prepared to do now. Court the Question. Let it surround you with its mystery. Wait and know that in that very waiting you are letting the Question change you into the person who can finally hear the answer.

Karen is author of The Sequoia Seed: Remembering the Truth of Who You Are, a great read for anyone who is seeking understanding or guidance, inspiration or clarity in his or her life.

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