Forest of the Unknown

A couple of years ago my life underwent a radical transformation. Within a matter of two weeks my husband lost his job and decided it was time to end our marriage. I suddenly had to deal with selling my house, figuring out where I was going to go and what I was going to do to make a living to support my two kids.   

During a particularly challenging time, I reached out to one of my teachers, Douglas Brooks for support.

After I tearfully described to him how everything was falling apart and my life was literally crumbling around me, he smiled at me kindly.  "That's wonderful", he said. " You're entering the forest of the unknown. The place where anything is possible." 

I remember thinking how that's a great idea in theory, but right now, I could really use a little more certainty. The part of me that likes to be in control, wanted to know what was going to happen. I wanted to know for sure that everything was going to be okay.  

I waffled back and forth between moments of clear trust and sheer terror.  Fortunately I had my yoga to fall back on.  It carried me through all the challenges that I still had to face and gave me faith. Ultimately, I had no choice but to let go and see what emerged.

What grew strong in me during that time was the capacity to trust the mystery and get comfortable with not knowing. The reality is that most of life is uncertain all of the time. Anytime we think things are secure and known, it's really just an illusion.

When everything familiar gets ripped away from us, it actually can be an amazing gift.  It invites us into that raw open space that's much closer to the truth than any false sense of security.

If you ever find yourself in the midst of feeling like everything around you is falling apart, breathe deeply and try to see the beauty of the mystery.  Keep your heart open to the bigger picture. Trust that there is a divine wisdom unfolding that might be beyond your capacity to understand it at this time. 

Even if you don't know how things are going to turn out, you can choose to surrender and rest in a place of deep faith.  Remember that in that place of uncertainty, in the vast forest of the unknown, there are there are exquisitely profound treasures hidden amongst the trees.

Kirsten Warner