Curiosity is a gift. A gift that simultaneously releases and tethers us to the responsibility of our ignorance.
Curiosity often comes unawares to our conscious selves and instead floods our bodies with an electricity of fear. Fear of not knowing what to say next, what to do next, what to feel next. We deeply believe in our need to solve the dilemmas that stand before us, but when we reach for that confidence of knowing, we find a terrifyingly vast emptiness.
We ask questions to which we know the answers. We speak words with no meaning. We outwardly perform the noise in our own minds to drown out the silence of uncertainty.
Without knowing why, we turn away from fear. We act, we speak, we don an emotional armor that shields us from the need for self-awareness. Patience eludes us. Silence fails under the burden of our need to wash away the fear of uncertainty with sounds signifying nothing.
Curiosity leans into that emptiness. Curiosity registers that moment of uncertainty and embraces the weightlessness of unknowing. And in that weightlessness, we feel the uncomfortable churn of our stomachs, the painful tingling throughout our bodies, the moment of hesitation that we all fear.
Fear lets us know we are alive. Fear begs us to open the door and let doubt into the deepest corners of our awareness. Fear begs for recognition, for acceptance, for a second of inaction to just sit and be still. Fear asks us to be vulnerable. To let it under the armor we wear and to absorb it into our naked skin. To let it become part of us.
For that moment, that brief moment when we let ourselves dissolve into fear, we feel the freedom of not knowing. We give ourselves the gift of unfiltered experience. An experience that we do not recognize as ourselves but sense in the deepest regions of our bodies.
This most beautiful version of curiosity is a curiosity of experience without the burden of knowing. A curiosity untethered from the responsibility of needing an answer. A curiosity that comes from somewhere deeper, more universal, more natural than we have ever felt before.
Curiosity is a gift we can only give ourselves. It challenges our understanding of who we are. It asks for vulnerability. It requires patience. It is the most important responsibility we have to ourselves and it is often the responsibility we most often fail at embracing.