I first came across this quote by Rainer Maria Rilke during my divorce. I was in the thick of uncertainty and sadness. I was mourning not only the loss of someone I loved deeply, but also the loss of the dreams I had for my children, my family, and my future.
How was I going to survive this grief? How were my children going to deal with not seeing both of their parents every day? How was I going to be able to get back into the workforce? Would anyone ever love me again? Would I be able to love anyone?
So. Many. Questions.
And then I read this quote. “Live the questions now” it said. So I decided to do just that. I felt uncertain about my future, and I lived that uncertainty. I didn’t know how I was going to overcome the pain, and I lived the pain.
“And the point is to live everything.”
So I did. I lived it, felt it, absorbed it to my core until it got swallowed up and burped out.
And today, five years later, I’m drinking coffee on the couch with a man who shows me he loves me every day. Our three children, all of them here for Christmas, bring us joy on the regular. I’m getting paid to teach again. And yes, I have found that I am, indeed, quite capable of loving someone else.
During that awful time, I couldn’t see the healing. I couldn’t feel that things would be ok. It felt like shit. But this quote reminded me live despite the uncertainty and questions.
So I did. I lived it along to this distant day, and I have arrived, at last, into the answer.