The quotes stand alone and really do not need any further explanation, so we are simply leaving them as they are and am not going to elaborate on them or explain them. Instead, we will only say this about them: We would have loved to read these when going through the uncertain “transition” period of law school. But we would have liked them also when studying for the bar (the transition of finally becoming licensed), looking for and beginning a new job (another transition)…
Every transition brings an opportunity to grow. It also brings doubt and vulnerability. These quotes are about embracing doubt rather than hiding it. Running into new experiences as fast as you can rather than running away. Living the questions rather than demanding all the answers.
- Embrace Doubt
“And your doubt can become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become criticism. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perhaps bewildered and embarrassed, perhaps also protesting. But don’t give in, insist on arguments, and act in this way, attentive and persistent, every single time, and the day will come when, instead of being a destroyer, it will become one of your best workers – perhaps the most intelligent of all the ones that are building your life. Letter 10
2. Trust in Difficult Experiences
“And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” Letter 9
3. Be courageous.
“We must accept our reality as vastly as we possibly can; everything, even the unprecedented, must be possible within it. This is in the end the only kind of courage that is required of us: the courage to face the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences that can meet us” … “But only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.” Letter 9
4. Live the questions.
“…try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” Letter Four.
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