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The power of I don't know

I grew up with the disposition to make decisions. Dad knew how to make them well. He had to. He’s been running companies his whole life. Mom also does. She had to be quick on her feet, making snap decisions t

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MIKE LIGUORI

I grew up with the disposition to make decisions. Dad knew how to make them well. He had to. He’s been running companies his whole life.

Mom also does. She had to be quick on her feet, making snap decisions to get us through another month of her working two jobs, school, and raising two boys half time.

The Marines enhanced my decision-making more, throwing me into situations that were life and death. A decision was better than no decision. Making a decision showed leadership, character, taking charge, and ownership.

So I always resorted to the ability to make decisions. If there was anything I was good at, it was making a choice. Do it or not. Yes or no. Left or Right. I could choose. And I was always good with the outcome, whether it was the right decision or wrong.

Well turns out when you pride yourself on deciding, you tend to think the world is black and white, 50/50 all the time. You got to pick a side, take a stand, make a decision, have an answer.

And from a young age, that has been my world until a panic attack two days ago gave me perspective.

I started to breathe heavily; my hands turned sweaty, I was gasping for fresh air, and I headed out to the sidewalk. I screamed profanity, rushing out the door, looking for anywhere that could help me slow my heart rate down.

With all of my panic attacks to date, there is usually a flood of calm that overcomes me and knows what triggered the attack. This one, well, this one, there was really no answer.

I searched for it. I tried to dig deep. Nothing.

Then something came to the surface. Sitting in the San Diego sun, not a cloud in the sky, an answer came to me.

I don’t know.

And I felt freer than I ever had. I even started laughing to myself that it took a panic attack to make me feel this way.

All because I had no idea why I started to freak out in the middle of the day or started thinking I was dying.

I didn’t know.

I share this with you because there is power in those words.

In a world full of instant gratification, the words I don’t know release you from constantly having an answer in a world that lacks many.

You can sit with the experience, process it, reflect on it without deciding what it was or has to be to you. It simply can just be an experience.

It’s been two days, and I still don’t know why it happened. But it happened. And it happened the way it happened for a reason. Whatever that reason is, I don’t know. And it feels good to say that.

- Mike

My new book The Road Ahead and Miles Behind A Story of Healing and Redemption Between Father and Son is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.