It's not getting to know what I don't know, that's liberating. It's
being willing to entertain the possibility that I don't know what I
already know, that's liberating.
A person who's very, very dear to me canceled an arrangement we'd set
up, to which I was really looking forward. I hadn't seen her in a
while. I love being in her company. When I'm with her,
there's nothing to do.
There's no agenda. There's no items to tick off a to-do
list either. There's never anything to do when I'm with her,
except be with her. Whenever I'm with her, it's an
experience of two beings of pure love
in a pool of pure love together.
There are some people with whom being-with is simply business. There
are other people with whom being-with is an expression of friendship.
Then there are those people with whom being-with is a reward,
with whom being-with is the validation of Life itself. She's one of the
latter people. We had a meeting planned, to which I was really looking
forward. And she canceled - at the very last minute.
I knew someone I'm familiar with, said something to her
about me which caused her to rethink our relationship and cancel our
arrangement. She didn't say she was told something about
me which caused her to cancel our meeting. But I knew she
was. It was very clear to me. It was obvious. She'd been turned
against me by a mischief-making intermediary who
has an axe to grind with me. Nobody had to tell me that's what
happened. But I knew. It was obvious.
Now ... the point I'm making here (with perfect 20/20
hindsight vision), is there was no way I could have known
her cancellation meant she'd been turned against me. I'm not psychic.
I'm not gifted with ESP either. And no little
alit on my shoulder tweeting it in my
There was no way I could have known what I knew. But neither was there
the distinction "You don't know what you know, Laurence.". And
if the truth be told, I didn't know that I didn't know it. It
had all the hallmarks of "the truth" - no, it
WAS "the truth". And the thing is the conclusions I was
drawing from this truth, this truth that wasn't "the truth",
were all leading me toward making a colossal mistake (any time you act
knowing the truth when it's not the truth, that's a colossal
Now that the smoke has cleared, now that the incident has faded into
the distant past, it's easy to distinguish the meaning-making
which was at play. But at the time, there was no such distinction.
There was no distinction "'Somebody turned her against me' is only an
There was only my knowing somebody turned her against me.
The entire fantasy was replete with authentic sounding
detail. I knew who turned her against me. I knew
why. And, what made it worse, I knew I couldn't win
her back. I was sick at heart, angry, frustrated, disempowered, and
saddened. I was also the "shot-through-the-heart" victim
in the drama. But I didn't see that until later ... much
Perhaps it's because I love her so much that my whip-fast
tendency to dismiss people, to write them off in
situations like these, was momentarily impaired. I didn't like not
being with her. I liked her cancellation even less. And as for her
being (supposedly) turned against me, the fact is I hated that
... but there it was, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Or was there? Even though I'd realized it might be a good idea to
cut her some slack, in truth I didn't know how. I lived with the
disappointment for two days looking for an opening, and I saw none.
And then on the third day, something broke open for me. I can't really
lay claim to having figured it out because I didn't. I
can't really lay claim to having drawn on past experience, because in
this regard I have none. Rather, in a discontiguous
non-linear breakthrough in the processing through of what had happened,
something shifted in my thinking, and a new
question popped in, and this new question challenged me to
The question was this: "What if you don't know? What if
you really don't know why she canceled? What if you really don't know
anyone turned her against you? What if you really don't know what
you already know?".
I started to consider "I don't know" like a possibility, like a
"What if ... ?", like a "Try this on for size" ... not like it's "the
The air started to clear immediately. I didn't know (not
really) there was anything sinister about her
cancellation. No one had said so. I didn't know (not
really) if anyone had turned her against me. No one had
said so. The entire episode started to break up. All that
had happened is she canceled. And that's all I knew. I didn't know
anything else. All the disempowerment, all the sadness, all of
that which lived in whatever I knew, not knowing I
didn't know it, disappeared.
She called me a few days later. I was delighted to hear her voice.
There was absolutely nothing left over in the space from the earlier
upset. She, too, was delighted to hear me. She apologized for
canceling. An urgent family matter had come up. She didn't apologize
for what came up. She apologized for the inconvenience she may have
caused me by canceling at such short notice. I thanked her and
acknowledged her for being considerate of my time. We set another date,
and by the time the conversation ended, there was, once again, nothing
but love in the space, and the joy we both experience in (looking
forward to) each other's company.
I'd stepped into "I don't know" like a possibility. I'd wrapped
around me "I don't know" like a cloak of invisibility. "I don't
know" rendered my already always listening ie the way I
know things are, invisible. And in the possibility
invented by I don't know, I found peace and liberation. Most
importantly, I got the love of my life back.