Questions and answers

As my husband and I struggle to find the right parenting approach to help our sons navigate the rather rocky road from teenage life to adulthood we often remind each other to take things “one day at a time,” and to remember that todays reality will frequently morph into something totally different by tomorrow.  It’s particularly important to me to try to find a way to appreciate what is happening here and now – not to always be living in the “well someday we’ll be able to mode…” even when the here and now is not so easy.  This morning I rediscovered a wonderful quote by the poet Rainer Marie Rilke that inspired me when I first read it and which touched my heart once again today:

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and 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…”

I think this wisdom also applies to couples as we struggle to build healthy relationships – sometimes we need to sit with the questions and the differences and even the disagreements and see what’s really under the surface rather than rushing to find quick compromises that maybe miss the essence of the issue…and through patience and sitting and asking questions we can reach a deeper, more profound connection.

Posted by Laura

Laura Marshall, LCSW, is the founder and director of the Sagebrush Center for Relationship Therapy. Her experience spans thirty years of supporting couples and individuals to create healthy and meaningful lives and relationships. She is also adjunct faculty for the New Mexico Highlands School of Social Work. She lives with her husband Steve and five sons in Farmington, New Mexico.

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