“I said to the man who stood at the gate, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'” ― Minnie Louise Haskins
This has been one of my favorite quotes for many years, but it seems more meaningful than ever as we continue to tiptoe into the first months of this new year.
We live in a world so full of noise.
These days, it is hard to know what to give your attention to and what to ignore.
I have always believed that truth is not black and white, and that the things in this world ― that really are made from the stardust of truth ― exist in a variety of forms, images, and philosophies.
During this last tumultuous year of political and the pandemic vitriol that has circled all of us, I have given my attention to just about every theory out there that has made the headlines. Right, Left, Alternative, Traditional, Pro Science, Anti-Fauci, Q-Anon, Pro Vaccine, Anti-Vaccine, etc. If a theory came across my screen and I could surmise that it had some basis in wanting what is best for humanity’s fate, I checked it out.
I will be the first to admit it, the searching is painful… my attention darts around kind of like a sharp needle with a long tail of thread behind it that plunges back and forth, back and forth, back and forth between competing narratives, trying to pull together the huge tear I often feel in the fabric of my personal reality….
The search is exhausting and can sometimes take my mind into places that are uncomfortable and confusing. Even so, my besties often express their gratitude to me for my willingness to dip my toes (er, needle) into the places they may be curious about but don’t have the energy to explore. They say things like, “… so glad you research this stuff and share it with me. I just don’t have the stomach for it.”
I have always been someone who has to go the edge of the cliff for myself and look over it to see what’s there. One of the most disconcerting things that I have learned in this search for truth is that there is a little bit of truth to almost everything. And that can make it very, very difficult to be 100% certain (for or against) anything at all.
In my younger years, I struggled to find “ultimate truth.” As I have gotten older, I have learned that anything that smacks of “ultimate truth” is likely quite simply not that, and that the smaller, more personal truths are far more powerful in my life. I have learned that even the small truths posess an ever-changing dynamic ― and this is what makes them truths. I have come to see truth as more versatile than it is unchanging. I have come to see it as always evolving. And I have learned to downright tune out the ones who claim ultimate truth about anything here on planet earth… because if they believe they have captured truth in its wholeness (about anything at all), then their truth is most certainly not my truth.
Which brings me back to today’s quote. On any given day, when I am looking for truth, I quietly pair my small personal truths with my faith in a benevolent higher source (the hand of God per today’s quote) and this serves me better than any light held by another, or any “known way” that is manmade.
It is not a bad way to wander through the days…