When you have questions or concerns about something, don’t shut them out. Give them the care and attention they deserve, all the while holding on to what you do know.
This philosophy was first introduced to me in an LDS conference talk (linked here), and I’ve never forgotten it since. It applies to so much more than my faith–it’s a way of life. How many times have I pushed a doubt to the side of my mind only to regret it later? How many times do I ignore a question at first only to realize after a while that it was a foundation for greater things to come? I can even recall conversations where I have not asked for a piece of information at the beginning to be repeated–subsequently have not understood the conversation–and then been asked to repeat it all. Talk about embarrassing.
Nodding and smiling like you understand while secretly nursing a misunderstanding or concern can lead to a breakdown of your relationships with others. This motivates me to give my questions the proper respect and attention they deserve, by not pushing them away but embracing them and searching for answers.
Caution, however. Giving a question respect does not mean giving it control. The last thing someone brave enough to confront a question needs is to feel lost and adrift as they let go of the other things they know, or confront them angrily. As I face the new world of independent living it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with everything there is to learn. It can be easy to let everything go as I allow my questions to invade. But this reaction seems to come more from stopping up my concerns until they overflow than simply accepting them as they come. Even if I don’t get an answer right away I familiarize myself with my feelings, which is the most important thing.
Accepting questions is really a basic principle of communication, and it has helped me strengthen the relationships in every avenue of my life. This week I’ll try to face my questions with an open mind and heart, knowing that if I doubt my doubts before I doubt my faith (or other knowledge) I’ll be able to keep the world in balance.
Thanks for reading,