She was standing in the middle of the lane, craning her neck to see something far beyond me. "Here's another one," I say to myself as I draw near. My VW bug is relatively compact but in a battle with human flesh, I'm pretty sure it still has the edge. Yet, she won't get out of the way.
After all, her need to get a glimpse of the bus she's waiting for is far more pressing than my now slowly approaching vehicle. Her behavior isn't unusual in the least. I see it everyday. Hell, I used to do it...still do, I suppose. Most of us do in one way or another.
It's a call for security-this incessant behavior we have of always wanting to know.
The lady standing in the street was so concerned about laying eyes on her bus that she subjected herself to potential danger. Isn't this what we often do with life? We don't like the waiting periods and sometimes we compromise our well-being in the search for assurance.
We believe that if we get a glimpse of the thing we're waiting on then the wait will become bearable. There's something about the space of waiting that is unnerving. Why can't we just be in the nothingness?
I once read somewhere that this was the space of pure potentiality. In the realm of nothing, everything is a possibility. Why are we so uncomfortable with the potentiality of things?
Perhaps, it has to do with our underlying beliefs. A dysfunctional voice floating in our minds that says things aren't likely to work out in our favor. A voice that constantly speaks of unworthiness. A voice of limitation.
But it's precisely that voice that we have to learn to question because it didn't used to be the voice of predominance.
There was a time when we were ok with not knowing. We took our first steps. We said our first words. We had our first crush. Guarantees weren't required. But along the way, we were socialized into a space of second-guessing ourselves, until it became commonplace. We traded our audacity for validation and permission and we became well acquainted with doubt.
We didn't make the team. We received a failing grade. We endured the first heartbreak. Our anguish, perhaps further fueled by tales of caution, caused us to contract, and now we seek assurance wherever possible.
Even if it's just waiting for a bus.
But here's the thing about waiting. It's only unbearable when you have nothing else to believe in.
Our wanting to know is a call to learn to trust the unknowable. To be ok with the undefined space of waiting that leaves us with nothing to hold onto. A space of learning how to transmute the terror of free falling into exhilaration.
Our wanting to know is also a call to get us to return to our origins. To find our way back to audacity and a place of no guarantees. It's urging us not only to trust the unknowable, but also to relearn how to trust ourselves.