Don’t be afraid

January 20, 2016

Wailea, Maui, August 2015

Have you ever heard I don’t know as the answer to every deep question you ask someone?

Many of us have heard that kind of response. Maybe the person giving that particular answer is ourselves.

I don’t like it at all. It can be frustrating, because it not only stops discussion, but prevents any meaningful change in attitude or behavior.

But when I looked more closely, I realized something significant.

The answer to every question about ourselves lies within us. So someone who always responds I don’t know is probably afraid to go there. To look within.

Afraid of what they may find.

It’s understandable. Taking a square look at ourselves and facing our own truths can be difficult.

The reality of being human is not always pretty and it’s definitely uncomfortable at times. Living in denial with hands covering our eyes keeps us safe from the discomfort of reality.

But living a real life is a worthy goal.

That I don’t know response is counter-productive, because the fear of looking within keeps us stagnant and prevents us from living fully.

Don’t be afraid.

It is safe to look within.

27 comments on “Don’t be afraid
  1. Karen Austin says:

    OK, this may seem super trite, but a contestant on the Bachelor (Lace Morris) decided to leave early and cited the need for self-knowledge as the reason. I hope that’s true. She was very insecure in her 3 episodes, and a little grounding would do her a world of good. If a Bachelor contestant can start down that path, I should take this as an invitation to do the same! Thank you for your photo and meditation on the topic.

  2. Carla says:

    I don’t know I was afraid in my 30s. I do know I didn’t stop, seek stillness, and really really look inside.
    Thank goodness for aging.

  3. Toni McCloe says:

    Thanks for bringing this to people’s attention. “I don’t know” was my answer to everything – okay, to almost everything – until I wrote my memoir. But once written, the “I don’t knows” began again. I guess there will always be questions and I’ll always be looking for answers. Thankfully there are people like you to remind me to look in the most obvious of places – inside myself.

  4. Andrea says:

    SO true. Love this piece, Carol. Definitely moved me and reminded me that I have some of the answers inside myself. I really just need to consider some of the questions!

  5. Bellybytes says:

    But sometimes you really don’t know!

  6. Astrid says:

    I must say I’m one of thosoe people who oftne is afraid to look inside myself. Your post is such an encouragement to look deeper to my own truths.

  7. Carol Graham says:

    Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a realist as this is common practice for me. Often — too much soul searching 🙂

  8. Michelle says:

    So simple…and still kind of scary. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

  9. Meagan says:

    I love this, and I really do feel that if everyone in the world was willing to do this it would definitely be a better place. I’ve been doing this a lot this past year, and have come to some hard conclusions in the process. But I like myself better now, and I am starting to really feel like ‘me’.

  10. Lauren says:

    I’ve never really thought about this before…but I totally agree! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  11. …or there are some like me who aren’t necessarily afraid. Maybe we just don’t know how. That’s my problem. I would take all of the help I can get on that note.

  12. Juanita says:

    I wish they actually taught this in schools.

    I started meditating and moving through my life with awareness much too late in life and wish I was even aware of it earlier.

    Great article.

  13. Eli says:

    Hm , this made me think a bit. Depend on what it is – that we don’t know I guess… The good thing is that I think I know more now when I grew older, and Im not afraid to say so either- when someone asks. If you know you know, right:-)

  14. Alana says:

    I was not one to ponder, or look within. Now, especially with the death of my best friend from childhood, I’m left with a big hole. I have some time to myself later in the week and I may just look within, instead of heading to the internet. I may find a nice garden within me, needing just a few weeds pulled.

  15. I agree completely! I can’t stand it when I ask a question and the dreaded “I dunno…” is the response. Just think. It’s not a test, just a simple question about YOU! And it’s okay, no, expected to know yourself.

    Great food for thought!

  16. Carolann says:

    Self-reflection can be scary for sure. It’s essential if we are to having any spiritual growth. I try to do it almost daily. There are times I don’t like what I see but mostly I do. And that’s not too scary at all. You always have such thought-provoking posts. Love it!

  17. I don’t always like what I find in there but I try to look inside at least once a week. If you let it go to long all the good gets stuck. Great reminder Carol, you are beautiful inside. I hope Riley is feeling okay today.

  18. MyTeenGuide says:

    This is spot on. The main reason why we answer I don’t know is because we are afraid to look within. It is definitely safe to look within and that’s all we need to do.

  19. Liz Mays says:

    I probably give that answer too much and it’s probably because I like to deflect the conversation back to someone else, anyone else. I keep a pretty big wall up around me.

  20. Estelle says:

    I agree that most of the answers can be found within. My daughter tends to use this phrase with me a lot, and I think it’s just deflection.

  21. I agree completely! I’ve never thought about this before.

  22. Jeanine says:

    I haven’t really thought about this before. I am not afraid though, I think at one time I was but now I’m totally not and I’m glad. So many answers can be found within, it’s just realizing that.

  23. I am not a fan of “I don’t know” whether it comes from someone else or from myself. I think my personality really pushes to in fact know. If I’m not certain about something than I get to work figuring out why and consider what I do know about it.

  24. Michelle 5 says:

    That’s a different way of thinking. I usually say it because I don’t have the answer. It’s not that deep for me. Lol 🙂

  25. “I don’t know” is a phrase we use to escape from answering the question! I like the way you have said to look within to find the answer 🙂

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