Don’t you just love a great mystery?

The intrigue, the suspense, the cat and mouse game of solving a crime. The author entices you to shadow a sleuth who’s determined to solve the crime as the plot thickens through a trail of clues and distractions. Mystery builds as the story takes abrupt twists and turns, and suddenly you can’t put the book down. All other things in life must wait until the grand finale when the identity of the culprit is revealed, and the crime is solved. 

How satisfying it is when all those loose ends are tied up!

But what if the mystery that needs solving is in your own life? 

Maybe there’s been an actual crime, but, more likely, there’s a difficult situation that has no apparent good outcome. Maybe life has taken a sharp turn, and landed in unplanned and unchartered territory. Maybe a personal or work relation has been strained and the solution is not evident. Maybe it’s the mystery of what the next season of life holds.

Somehow, these mysteries just don’t always seem so fun. There’s suspense, clues, tension and intrigue. You are definitely invested in finding a solution. However, two differences remain. For one, it’s your life and the consequences are real. Unlike a book, you can’t decide the tension is too much or the twist is too ridiculous and just put it back on the shelf (or can you?)

Second, you can’t rush to the end to see how it all turns out. You have to take it one day at a time, living in the tension of the unknown while the solutions are discovered. And to complicate it further, we each actually have several mysteries we’re living every day. Some are very close to their solution, while others are just beginning. 

Can these mysteries possibly be enjoyed? Absolutely.

Start by celebrating the solved ones. Each of us has many. Decisions that were made that led to amazing opportunities. Unsolvable problems that were somehow resolved. High tension moments when all options seemed closed, and suddenly a door opened. Unexpected help in a time of need. Strained relations that have found healing.

Then acknowledge that you have a track record of 100% for getting through these mysteries. The ones that have yet to be solved will be no different. Even the tension you feel is a sign that you are alive and still solving ‘crimes’. 

There’s lots of clues. Determine which ones are important and which ones just want to be important. And recognize that the villain in your story may be your own thoughts of self-doubt, fear, or hopelessness. These are misleading clues in the mysteries of life.

Finally, you do have permission to enjoy life while the unknown journeys to its reveal. Trust that the solution will be there at just the right time and celebrate all that has been solved while the detective work on the others continues.

Life is good, even and, sometimes especially, the mysterious parts.

Posted in