live the questions

Leo Tolstoy described patience and time as the two most powerful warriors. At first glance this seems like a counter-intuitive statement. Patience as powerful? I for one have often regarded patience, with a fair amount of disdain, as a passive virtue. One of the key lessons that I’ve had to learn is that there is a great deal of living and learning to be done in the waiting room, and that a key aspect of learning to wait is to know what you are waiting for (thank you, Anna Neagle).

Sometimes we must, in the words of E. M. Forster, be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us; and when our heart breaks and we find ourselves navigating the grief that often accompanies this sense of loss we can draw some encouragement from a beautiful thing that Rainer Maria Rilke said: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. 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.”

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