Living the Questions

 ‘If you live the questions, life will move you into the answers.’ Deepak Chopra

I so often meet people whose lives have hit stand-by mode because they are living their own answer and it is taking them nowhere. A decade ago I was guilty of doing this same thing as I moved through life avoiding any serious romantic relationships at all. I wasn’t happy, but at least I was safe. I was living ‘my’ answer and I was stubbornly unwilling to take anything else into consideration. Then I got unexpectedly schooled by the universe. Today is a great day to share this story because it just happens to be the anniversary date to when I married the answer the universe had in store for me those many years ago.

The true story that I am about to share with you is a great example of why I believe we live in an interactive universe and that it has an intelligence far beyond anything we could ever imagine. When we get out of the way and allow life to flow in its natural form, the outcome is often far grander than anything we ever could have wrestled into existence on our own. It is a hard philosophy to follow at first, but once you sink into it, it becomes like a trip down a lazy river. Of course I say that now… but as you will read below I did not exactly traipse into the lazy river the first time it meandered across my path…

Once Upon a Time …

It all began at a family dinner one night in a busy restaurant. I was at a point in my life where my faith in relationships was at an all time low, so I was not even interested in dating.

On this particular evening the kids and I had arrived late to a big family dinner. As mock punishment I was made to sit at the head of the table and told I would also have to pay the bill. As dinner ensued it was evident that there was a male patron sitting at the bar who was working diligently at getting my attention. The rest of my family thought this was quite comical and they began chiding me to go over and give the man my telephone number. I was not interested in any romantic escapades and I spent the whole evening avoiding even a semblance  of eye contact. I left the restaurant that evening with not so much as a polite glance in his direction.

When my mom returned  home from dinner she noticed that a gold bracelet that she had worn that evening was missing. She got in touch with the restaurant and it turned out that the manager had found it and was holding it for her. The next day she and my dad went to the restaurant for lunch and to retrieve the bracelet. When she told the hostess that she was there to pick up the bracelet the manager came out of the office expectantly. He walked out with the bracelet in his hands and disinterestedly glanced at my mom and then scanned the rest of the waiting area for someone else. My mom  recognized that the manager was the man who had been trying to get my attention the night before. She began to laugh, and said, “Excuse me but I am here to pick up that bracelet.”  When she tells the story she laughs and says that it was very evident that this poor guy was really disappointed that it was an ‘old lady’s bracelet’ (her words not mine!). She ended up apologizing for disappointing him, and he laughed and said, “ I suppose you can tell I was hoping it belonged to the blond woman who was sitting at the head of the table last night.” My mom laughed and explained that the blond woman was her daughter to which the manager replied, “If she is single, I would love to meet her. Tell her to come in for lunch any time” Well it is not often that my mom gets to play match maker. She tried her best to convince me to go in and meet this “nice young man” but I was busy ‘living my own answer’ and never gave her urgings a second thought.

It was nearly 6 months later that I was at a basketball tournament for my son. This tournament was in another state several hundred miles from where I lived. I ended up in conversation with another mother (from my home town) whom I had never met before.   Our conversation eventually turned to the fact that I was a single mom and had all but given up on romance. As we continued to talk and she got to know me a little bit, she said that she had a hunch … would I trust her to give my number to a male friend of hers? I  cautiously agreed and a few days later I got a phone call from the mystery man. As we chatted on the phone our conversation was easy and eventually turned to what we each did for a living. He told me about his long history in stock and commodity trading, but  added that for a while now he had been managing a restaurant his family owned. He then named the same restaurant where my mom had lost her bracelet. My mind ticked backward to that night so many months ago and the man who had tried all night to get my attention. Was he that manager?  It couldn’t be the same man, could it?  I decided to live the question…

‘Did someone lose a gold bracelet in your restaurant about 6 months ago?’….

The phone line became eerily silent. The next words spoken were his,

“Yes… and you must be the blonde woman who was sitting at the head of the table?’

Those words just hung between us for a moment before I answered in the affirmative. I was stunned…despite every twist and turn I had made in the prior six months, there I was back in proximity to this man I had tried so hard to avoid. Today, I know for certain that the universe was placing the love of my life squarely in front of me not once, not twice, but three times before I could finally get out of the way.

the bracelet

When I asked him about that bracelet, I was finally living the question…and it was only then that life was able to move me into the answer… and what a beautiful answer it has been.


1 thought on “Living the Questions”

  1. Thank you for this, Dr. Childs. It is affirming, inspiring, and beautiful. I AM experiencing a similar situation, though not romantic :-), since my recent month at the Casa. Until this morning, though, I had not thought of it in terms of “living the question.”

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