The Fear of Knowing

My wife and I were sitting on the sofa of our shadow and relationship therapist Ed Fell when he asked her a question.

“Do you ever feel John isn’t receiving your love?”

Ding. Easy 10 points for me. She’ll certainly say ‘no’.

“Yes, all the time.”

“Whaaat?” I said looking straight at her. “Are you serious?!”

Ed smiled.

In my free talk earlier this week, I shared about my recent discovery that I wasn’t receiving Kalpna’s love.

If you watch the replay, you will notice I also shared that I was surprised by this and that I said I didn’t know it was happening, nor how or why I was doing it. 

On the morning following that talk, while writing in my shadow journal called ‘Dark Matter’, I noticed something.

I noticed that since on the sofa at Ed’s place, I’d been speaking a story that ‘I didn’t know it was happening nor how or why I was doing it’.

As I held my inner gaze in this direction, I saw also how vehemently I’d been telling this story. There was a certainty about my not knowing that, now that I could see it, made me skeptical.

Unconscious fear-based identity structures tend to come up with clever ways of protecting themselves from the light of awareness that will destroy them.

The iceberg of our fear often has a tiny tip that juts above the surface and is made of just three words:

“I don’t know.”

In practice, I have become extremely skeptical of this phrase. It’s nearly gotten to the point where I see the speaking of the words “I don’t know” as a greater indicator of fear than I do a lack of knowing.

It’s not that I think people are lying. I was being honest when I said I didn’t know

My point is that I was producing my not-knowing by choosing not to look.

It would be like my saying “I don’t know where the cookies are”  because I was unwilling to look in the pantry two feet behind me.

When our not-knowing is a result of our choice not to look, our speaking of the phrase “I don’t know” strengthens the shadow that produces it.

Saying “I don’t know”, when it’s coming from fear, only entrenches disempowerment.

As soon as I realized my “I don’t know” story was the tip of a fear, I dug deep and got the courage to speak the inverse.

This I did because I know that presupposing knowing provides access to an infinite stream of wisdom and insight.

“I am not receiving my wife’s love because I’m afraid that if I receive her love then…”

Before I reach the end of my prompt, the rest of the sentence unfolds as a small voice within me.

They are words that part of me wants not to write. This part tries to discount the words or distract me from them, so I write them down quickly. 

My courage in writing these words is because of my faith that the light of sustained awareness will distinguish their truth far better than the chaotic chatter that sounds in my mind like a radio channel dial being turned back and forth through the entire range of stations. 

“I know that I am blocking my wife’s love by…”

One by one, I take my statements of not knowing and I presuppose the opposite. 

I speak with certainty that I DO know and, in doing so, the rest of the iceberg comes into view. 

In speaking my knowing, I am diving down deep into the waters of my unconscious, enabling me to surface with wide-angle photographs of the giant beautiful structure of white and blue fear down there.

Into my journal, pages unfold of crystal clear insight into why I don’t receive my wife’s love. Not only that, but I bring back countless rock-solid practical examples of how I regularly block her love too.

Later that day, I stood in the kitchen, my hair still wet from the deep dive, I shared with my wife what I’d uncovered. She concurs with what I found, appreciating my ability and willingness to articulate examples of what she was feeling but didn’t have words for.

She then points out how I do this with our boys too, and I hold myself up by the counter for the weight that has on my heart.

There is an ecstasy for me in uncovering obstacles to love.

It hurts, but I know the innocence behind it all and so I can find pleasure in the pain. This is not a masochism. It’s an excitement for the relief I know is available in the light of knowing thyself.

Every time I confront something like this, my life and the lives of those around me only gets better.

The more darkness we face, the more light there is.

What have you been saying “I don’t know” about?

And what if you do know…but you’re just afraid to look?

Loving us all, JPM