But what if my idea doesn’t work? What if I make it worse? How can any action on my part effect the horrors of the world? Learning to let go of outcomes is critical to developing a peaceful mind and to listening to God.
Quakers use a query or question to focus and deepen their meditations and to consider new ideas. Eileen Flanagan, a Quaker writer, puts queries at the end of each chapter in her book The Wisdom to Know the Difference: When to Make a Change — and When to Let Go. I offer them to you to ponder. These queries come from Chapter Six: Letting Go of Outcomes, p.217.
What “pictures”of your life do you carry?What’s your worst “what if”?
What do you still find difficult to accept?
Are you able to speak openly about your mortality?
How do you feel about your “unfinished business”?
What problems in the world do you consider “unacceptable,” and how do you deal with them?
Flanagan’s questions get at the heart of why we are so interested in how things are going to turn out. If we have pictures in our minds of how things should be and they aren’t that way, what does that say? If we can’t accept our mortality and our messes, then we can’t accept reality as it is. Then what?
If you find queries helpful, you can find more at Plain Speaking.