“So you want answers.” It was a statement, not a question but in that moment I missed that distinction.
I was just finishing lunch with author, Tricia Molloy. I’d gotten to know Tricia through business and I also knew that she’s a very spiritual woman who believes in the law of attraction, the power of designing the life you want and the infinite wisdom of the universe. Our lunch had been planned for a while and part of our catching up was my telling her that my husband had been diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor. Yes, I was looking for answers. Not necessarily from her, but as a spiritual woman I hoped she’d offer some inspired wisdom.
I’ve always looked for answers. I don’t just want to know. I want to know why. I’m always asking questions about why things are done that way, why do they call it that or how did this originate? My whole life I’ve studied life, looked at philosophies, tried to figure out the meaning of life and make sense of the challenges I’d encountered.
Now in the biggest challenge of my life I was searching for answers. Why would my husband, who was healthy, in great shape, ate right, exercised and took good care of himself, be stricken with a brain tumor when he’s young and at the height of his career? What was the meaning behind this? How would we handle this devastating crisis? How would it change the course of our lives? What would come next? Yes, I wanted answers. I had none.
Known as “The Queen of Serene,” Tricia didn’t offer any answers. No explanations. No attempt at trying to make sense of it all. Just a statement. “So you want answers.”
In the weeks, months and now the years that have followed that luncheon her words have come to mind so very often. “So you want answers.” It took a few days for it to really sink in. There is no answer. In this situation I will never have answers to why.
All my life I’d searched for and focused on a bright side of any situation. Losing a troublesome boyfriend opened the way to meeting my amazing husband. A work crisis lead me to find a better job. Losing a good job lead to the opportunity to start my own business. Failing on a project led to learning valuable lessons that would lead to bigger projects. I always looked for meaning in life’s struggles and obstacles. What could I learn? How could I use what I learned? I could always look back and see how the trials and tribulations of life made me stronger, wiser, better. I could always say that it all worked out for the best.
Not this time. There could never be a ‘next’ for which it would be worth losing my soul mate. Never would I be able to look back at my life and know that it had been made richer through having experienced the suffering and death of the love of my life. Never will I feel that the world is made better by him not being in it.
“So you want answers.” I don’t get answers. I get what is. One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned in this life journey is that I don’t always get answers or the opportunity to understand why. I get reality. I’ve learned to accept that and find moments of joy amidst both the good and the bad of life experiences.
That doesn’t mean that I always soldier on with staunch determination and a smile plastered to my face while touting platitudes of positivity. I cry. I sob. I descend into the depths of depression, sorrow and sadness. I grieve and mourn. I take time to lick my wounds and to nurture my spirit. To soothe and heal before I get up and go on. Then I get up and go on knowing that the answers may never come and that’s OK.
There will always be things I don’t know, situations I don’t understand and mysteries that can’t be solved. I let go of the need to know and I go on. When I see others facing life’s challenges and asking why, I think to myself, “So you want answers.” I don’t need answers so much now. I’ve learned to dance in the questions.