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  • Writer's pictureDarren Timms

Embracing- ''I don't know'' will set you free.

"Admitting 'I don't know' is the beginning of wisdom, but far from the end."


I arrived at this stage in my life through much trial and error. I realised that whatever happens, I will take the necessary course of action and redesign any goal that does not bear fruit or align with the present circumstances.


The event that profoundly impacted me to think this way was a relationship that didn't end the way I wanted.


Typically, when we end a relationship ourselves, we feel less insecure because we decided to end it.


However, when it's not in our control, it can often trigger painful emotions we want to avoid.


I met this woman, and we had a very intense two-year relationship. From my perspective, I believed I was the epitome of love and commitment, and I couldn't imagine she felt anything other than supported and loved.


However, challenges moulded in my childhood meant my love came from a place of neediness and fear that I didn't want to lose her.


In my formative years, the challenges woven into the fabric of my childhood shaped the way I perceived and expressed love. My father, a figure I hold dear, struggled to convey affection in conventional ways, unable to verbalize love or engage in physical displays of warmth beyond our early adolescence.


This backdrop serves not as an indictment but as context, illustrating the innate human need for unconditional love and acknowledgement during our formative years.


Yearning for the safety, visibility, and appreciation of warm embraces, my father, influenced by his limiting upbringing, still provided a secure and favourable home while instilling a competitive ethos where winning eclipsed all else.


While this drive propelled us to excel academically and in various pursuits, it also planted seeds of limiting beliefs—that love and worthiness were contingent upon performance.


Recollections of my father berating me for not meeting his sports expectations lingered, fostering a sense of inadequacy that permeated my self-esteem. The ethos of needing to win to be and look the best infiltrated every aspect of life, particularly personal relationships.


In the intricate dance of love, we often attract partners mirroring the conditional love experienced in our formative years. This dynamic compels us to constantly perform, seeking validation and security. 

The absence of genuine, unconditional love triggers familiar feelings of insecurity, exposure, vulnerability, and fear. The echo of childhood experiences resounds, compelling us to please our partners not for who we are but for what we do—a burdensome reality for many raised in environments where love hinged on performance, achievement or appearance.


This complex interplay underscores the profound impact of early experiences on our adult relationships and self-perception and often suffocates many relationships.


For this woman, our relationship became heavy, and she felt smothered. For love to work, freedom must be present and looking back, my need for her to love me in a way I required to feel safe and in control was just too demanding and weighty. 


Ultimately, that burden became too much for her, and she ended the relationship. I was devastated and mistakenly felt that my life was over. I tried to convince her to reconsider.


Not realising the neediness and desperation was why she ended it in the first place. 


My life spiralled downwards for many weeks, where I would sit and ask the same questions continuously.


I wonder where she is, who she is with, and if she is happy. I would engage in defeatist self-talk- Will I ever find another woman like that? As funny, sexy, good-looking, successful, intelligent and loving?


That pattern continued day and night until one morning, I woke up and repeated the questions, and the same three words came to me that changed everything. Remember, a few chapters back, "I DONT KNOW!" 


As I lay there, staring at the ceiling, I couldn't help but feel a sense of empowerment wash over me. At that moment, I realized something truly profound - the power of uncertainty. By surrendering to the unknown, I was no longer held back by the need to control every aspect of my life. I felt free and liberated from the shackles of anxiety and stress.


And as I basked in this newfound sense of clarity, I knew deep down that I would be okay no matter what the future held.


Because at my core, I was strong and resilient, capable of overcoming any obstacle in my path. It was a moment of true transformation that would forever shape my outlook on life.

In the ebb and flow of life, I've learned a profound truth — that life unfolds as it will, irrespective of our desires or attempts to control it. Wrestling against this natural current, as I did in the aftermath of a painful breakup, only deepens the wounds.

Plus, I embraced the concept that life will continue to reveal through others, relationships, and circumstances where we remain bound and unfree. Therefore, we will be presented with the exact people and circumstances necessary to liberate us from the childhood subconscious programs that keep us trapped.

Embracing the unknown liberated me from the heavy burden of needing to micromanage every facet of my existence. It ushered in a sense of freedom, untethered from the chains of anxiety. In this newfound clarity, I understood a universal truth — life's unfolding is a journey, and attempting to bend it to my will only begets strife.

Developing an intimate relationship with reality became a cornerstone of my personal growth. Even amid life's inevitable challenges, I've adopted a practice of acknowledging the facts and accepting them as undeniable truths. This intimate dance with reality has become my solace in tough times.

When faced with adversity, I now pause, recognize the present moment for what it is, and inquire: Can I influence this situation? If not, a simple declaration follows: "I accept this as an undoubted truth." This acknowledgement is a form of surrender, a conscious release of the need to control.

In these moments of acceptance, I've discovered a well of resilience within. Life's challenges, though formidable, become manageable. This intimate relationship with reality has transformed my approach to hardship, making each trial an opportunity for growth.

Years later, our paths reconverged through circumstance, and the transformation within me became palpable.

The realization that love requires wings, not chains, had taken root, dispelling the illusion that completeness rested in the affection of another.


While others can and do complement our journey, it's essential to recognize that no external force on this planet has the capacity to complete us. The inherent truth is that we are already whole; we've merely momentarily overlooked this fact.


Embracing our innate completeness becomes a transformative acknowledgement, reshaping the narrative of our lives and altering the dynamics of how we perceive love and self-fulfilment.


I had learned that waiting for external love mirrored the urgency to cultivate self-love.


The pursuit of certainty in another, once my compass, had given way to a journey of self-empowerment through embracing the uncertainty of "I don't know."


The chapter of my life unfolded as a testament to the profound shift from seeking validation in external sources to finding solace within.


As we shared our respective narratives, she couldn't help but sense the metamorphosis in my demeanour, drawn to the newfound energy emanating from self-love and acceptance.


Her renewed interest reflected the transformative power inherent in releasing the need for external validation and navigating the unknown with a sense of self-assurance.


Gratefully acknowledging her role as a pivotal teacher in this chapter, I gently conveyed that my current happiness lay in a new relationship. This reinforced the essence of embracing uncertainty and cultivating self-love as the guiding light on this transformative journey.


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