“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

In our culture, we are trained to make snap judgments about events (and people) the moment we first encounter them.  Our quick acting pre-frontal cortex wants to move us from the current moment into the next task, so we feel a strong need to identify and then categorize individuals or situations quickly in order to offload the mental weight of uncertainty.  We want to immediately label things as “right” or “wrong” instead of simply identifying them as “informational.”  It is possible, however, to live our moments fully present and curious, not judgmental, being intentional about noticing what’s around us and within us,.

If you’ve heard of the term “mindfulness”, that is what we are referencing here.  Mindfulness isn’t some Eastern religion, it’s the practice of pausing and then noticing.  It’s being aware of our responses without having to do anything with them right away.  When we approach life from curiosity rather than judgment, we end up gathering more helpful information in the process, information that helps us come to our decisions wholeheartedly.  When we pause to be mindful, we take into account our mental, physical and spiritual needs holistically because we notice them. We move in a daily rhythm instead of rushing through each moment to reach the next one. 

We’re a culture desperate for quick answers.  How many of us have made a decision we weren’t fully ready to make just because we wanted it done and checked off the list? I know I have. This week, let’s practice taking a moment to  “pause” and notice what you’re experiencing in the moment before assigning a judgment to it.  Take a moment to pray and ask the Divine if there is a different perspective to see.  That is the first step in humility. Check in with your body and see what it needs: rest, activity, hydration. If you take care of the minutes, the hours will take care of themselves. Practice living wholeheartedly in the moment long enough, and eventually you’ll live right into the answer you seek.