reclaiming the indomitable power of “I don’t know”

A full month has passed since my last post, as I am finding my greatest joy away from the computer. Thanks to those who supported my March 14 request in a number of ways. April is marked by intense flux and opportunity. As to what it may bring, I am pleased to say, I don’t know.

ps1_371494_fnt_dd_t13Pity the poor phrase, I don’t know: relegated to second-class status and too often uttered alongside inconsolable weeping, intellectual shame, and frustrated head-shaking and shoulder-shrugging.

The bastard stepchild of the (so-called) intelligent mind, I don’t know has been derided and diminished, cast adrift from the decks of fast-moving, surface-skimming vessels hellbent on steaming toward a final destination, dropping anchor, and knotting ropes as quickly as possible.

If human evolution is indeed moving beyond the constructs of black-and-white, either-or polarization (and it is!), it is time for I don’t know to be lifted up to its deserved place of honor and power along the multi-hued spectrum of spoken word consciousness…

…and delivered with intention and conviction as the highly authentic, accurate, courageous, and conscious response that it is.

I don’t know is not the province of the feeble or uneducated. It need not indicate the need for nutritional supplementation or increased oxygen intake. It does not necessarily suggest a lack of grounding or an underdeveloped will force.

Sometimes — and you will know these times if you are paying attention — your I don’t know response is the undilute truth, the embrace of the vast and immeasurable potential of the All-There-Is.

Resisting external pressures and seductions to give a concretized reply represents your commitment to hang on Inanna/Ishtar’s meathook in the void, to remain in Persephone’s underworld, until you know without question that it is time to return topside and go, be, do something else, somewhere else.

I don’t know expresses your willingness to dive in and give yourself the gifts of time, space, contemplation, and discernment while you sort through sand and rubble in order to sift out the jewels that are etched with your name.

Decide! What do we call this relationship? I need to know what box we are placing our affections in!

Well? Do you want to move or not? And where do you want to go? And when?

Can you clear your calendar 6 weeks from now? I need to make plans!

It is time to acknowledge that these types of requests/demands are violent intrusions on your inner well-being and the sense of contentment you are now cultivating. A simply spoken, I don’t know, is a wise and prudent response. It neither judges nor condemns the questioner. It throws no gasoline, brandishes no sword, flings no barbs — even though some questioners may choose to react as though it does. (Their business, not yours.)

By uttering these three seemingly unremarkable words, you acknowledge that you are not (yet) prepared to respond more fully. You activate the essence at the core of who you are — rather than rushing to thrust yourself into someone else’s.

If you need more time and the questioner cannot wait, so be it. If certain plans need to move forward without you, so be it. If a friend, lover, or associate is unable to respect your process, perhaps it is time to revisit the current rightness of the relationship for you.

There is no peace in being pressured to make a decision that has not fully flowered within your heart and spirit: you cannot give voice to answers that you do not yet have.

I don’t know is a powerful ally available to you in every moment. Embrace it as a waystation on a complicated and sometimes arduous journey, serving your highest purpose and the greatest good of all who you touch. How does it all turn out in the end? No one knows.



  1. Julie

    Timely, as usual, with an intensely personal relevance as I plan a 7-day backcountry hiking trip. “I simply don’t know”…thank you for reading my (collective) mind once again and sending this out into the world to facilitate the collective sigh of relief. With gratitude, as always…


  2. Autumn

    On time and on target! Yesterday we threw plans out the window and trusted our inner voices on the simplest of decisions…right or left… as we went exploring…knowing only at that moment which way to go, where to stop, how long to stay and when to continue on. No pressure of preplanned direction or time. Feeling what was right, not thinking what was right. Thank your for the blessing of “I don’t know”!


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