Written by Emma Weber
I marked the end of my freshman year with a post where I quoted “Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.” In the final lines, Rilke says, “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. / Just keep going. / No feeling is final. / Don’t let yourself lose me.” It is almost ironic to look bad at this timestamp as a senior and know all the events yet to come. Driving home for the first time, I believed I had cracked the code of the universe, experienced all that was offered and felt every feeling in finality. What a relief to know there is more to life than just a freshman year in college!
The time from then to now has taught me something Rilke was trying to tell me freshman year: no feeling is final. What I think I know now may change by the time I graduate. What I feel today may change with new information, a different experience or an altered view.
This does not mean I don’t seek knowledge and truth. What it does mean, however, is that I am learning to be okay with mistakes. Being wrong is a part of life I have tried to avoid, but in doing so, I lived ignorant of anything outside of my decided truth. I was too afraid to question, too afraid to accept, too stuck to let things happen to me. I missed out on the beauty that is created by the way God exists in the gray. The gray allows me to be consumed by a peace that passes all understanding.
This year, I am dedicating myself to finding new ways to look at things. I want to let everything happen to me: beauty and terror. In my opinions, I am going to allow myself room to be wrong. This is scary to do, yes, but I will keep going. The wisest people I know are ones who are willing to own up to their mistakes and gracefully accept when they’ve been wrong. Sometimes our need for certainty forces us to hold tightly to ideas that evidence and other’s experience may be disproving. Let it happen. Keep Him close.
What I hope comes from this practice is a new appreciation for life. To learn something new, you must release the old way you viewed the world. This may seem daunting, but I have some comfort in letting go: no feeling is final.