I admit it. I can be a know-it-all. I am guilty of my walking fortune cookie or an open Hallmark card ways with a sentiment, a phrase, or words of wisdom to give out to anyone who may take the time to listen to me. I am always staring upwards in amazement and awe of how really small we are in such a wide world, weird lives we live and lead, and magic all around us that is so incredibly awe-inspiring. I ramble because of the many differing perspectives with the understanding that there is really never any concrete answer with my nearly concluding, “Well…it depends…”
So, imagine my surprise when he threw me off. One of my good friends and I indulge in talking every couple of months about all the hard-hitting questions and quandaries : Life, Love, World, Travel, Experiences, and the list can go on and on until you are blue in the face. There are very few people in my life that I can have a mutual meaningful conversation with as well as be my completely wacky self. ‘Mutual’ and ‘Meaningful’ are the keywords here. Many usually talk about themselves or others. Hey, I’m even guilty of being that ‘many.’
His questions caught me off guard, “Would you want to know when you die? Would you want to know all the answers in life? Do you think all our lives are pre-written? ”
Without any hesitation, I said, “No way would I want to know when I die. That is like knowing the ending of a great movie, book, or story without the intrigue of the beginning and the growing interest in the plot and storyline. I think God or some high being may know everything we are going to do and all the people we are going to meet and their purposes in our lives. I do not believe in pre-written because of our own free will to make choices. I think there is a lot we do not know. And that’s okay. We are not born knowing. We are born to learn as we go along in life.”
“Why wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t that make life so much easier?” he asked me.
“Maybe, but that would be boring and meaningless. If we knew everything, we would not learn and appreciate the experience. Especially when we look back. If I knew everything, my faith would also falter or maybe even fall to pieces. I hold fast to faith that even when it is hard or hurts as hell in life that everything will work out. I do not ever want to lose my sense of faith and wonder.”
I paused and continued on (my rambling self coming out): “You know that phrase if I had known now what I had known then that I wouldn’t have done it? Do you know how people would want to warn their child version of their future selves and what is going to happen? Well, I would not want to do that. I would not give a warning. I would like to think I would give a sort of blessing. I would tell the child version of myself to go with life as it unfolds, do not fear the mistakes that will inevitably come from the choices you make when you are put to the test at times, and let time tell and God or the higher power reveal. I would say it is okay not to know and that we often live with more questions than answers in life struggling to find when we need to go with the flows of life. I would just tell my child version that everything always has their magical and mysterious ways of working out as it is meant to as so much and maybe everything in life is timing.”
My friend paused pensively, digesting my views. Slowly, he said, “I think our lives are pre-written by God. He knows everything we are going to do, everything we are going to experience, and all the people we are going to meet. I would want to know what is written. If I knew what was written then I could prepare for how I am going to handle what’s coming up. ”
I was truly shocked by such a response. Completely thrown for a loop.
“Control is an illusion,” I spouted off bluntly, “You can only prepare and plan so much in life, and I think there needs to be peace made with that. We can't know everything. It's not good to know everything. If we knew everything, what would happen to our sense of humility and being humble and compassionate rather than arrogant? We are flawed humans that constantly make mistakes-- and it's OK to make mistakes so we can keep on learning and going.”
I continued with even more reasons why I did not agree with his viewpoint to know everything. At the end of our conversation, he admitted, “Well, you may be changing my opinion now.”
There are many lost and even dark times we ask in our lives ‘why me?’ or ‘why is this happening?’ While I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and every single person who we cross path in our lives holds a purpose, I also believe there are experiences that happen in life that may not have a rhyme or reason at all—these are the ‘unknown’ for us not being able to figure out why they happened as well as the ‘unknown’ that lies ahead. We need to make peace with the unknown and with the questions that surround it. Maybe even embrace them all in a big bear hug.
Do you believe our lives are pre-written or predestined by God or some higher power? Do you think everything really happens for a reason and that there are no coincidences in life? Would you really want to know everything, like when you die and what is going to happen in your life going forward? How do you feel about ‘ignorance is bliss’? Would you want to warn your child self of what happened in the future and, if so, what would you reveal? What have you experienced that you can’t find or understand the reason or the knowing behind it all?
Maybe I am not as much of a know-it-all as I thought and appeared to be after all.
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,