Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
And try to love the questions themselves.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
Patience with ourselves may be the first step toward patience with others. In getting to know ourselves, we don’t find what we have expected. If we did, we would only be proving what we already knew. Sometimes growth comes in surprising ways. It may be in acceptance and learning to love what is unsettled or unclear within. Some of us men want to rush through our learning and push our growth too fast. Others of us want to have a strong sense of confidence in our relationships with others but always feel vulnerable. Some wonder why their fears suddenly rise without warning. Another longs to know why certain things happened to him in his youth. Our growth is not our invention. When answers come, they are gifts, and we do not control them.
In part, self-acceptance is to say, “Yes, I am a person with this question, this unsettled feeling. Being alive is to be actively engaged in knowing and loving my questions even when I find no answer.”
God, grant me the peace that comes with loving the unfinished part of me.