“If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.”
Who would ever have guessed that we would get a crash course in uncertainty? Well, here we are.
A global pandemic, the health of everyone in the world at risk, including ourselves and our loved ones… Wow!
One question on my mind is about how to meet the uncertainty we’re all facing. And there is a lot of it.
What is going to happen? Who will be affected? When will this disruption end so we can get back to “normal?” How will it end?
Uncertainty means that we don’t know. We just don’t know the answers to these questions.
And for many of us, not knowing fuels the fear lying at the core of how we view ourselves. Everything is threatened—our preferences for how things should be, our life situation defined by roles and relationships, our finances, and even our physical bodies.
Our familiar ground starts to feel quite shaky.
Here are some points for you to contemplate: if you think you control your life, you don’t. If you think you and those you love are going to live forever, they won’t. If you think your world can’t change in a heartbeat, it can.
The tragedies that mark the nature of human civilization don’t just happen to others. Now we’re all facing one.
We’re attached to normalcy, taking the most fundamental aspects of our lives for granted. And now they’re up for grabs.
Whether we want it or not, we’re being given one gigantic invitation to investigate our attachments. What are you going to do with this invitation?
I’ve shined the light on many attachments over the years, seeing them, feeling into what it’s like to be attached, and considering what it would be like to let them go. It’s been a fruitful exploration of fear, loss—and ultimately freedom.
We are always in some kind of relationship with our experience. We might swirl in our minds’ stories while we miss the feelings that drive them. We shame ourselves for our reactions, rather than welcoming them. We desperately want what we want while we resist the truth of what we’re given.
Or we can be conscious of what arises in our inner landscape with curiosity…and tenderness.
Many of us are terrified of our reactions. We don’t want to face loss and change. We don’t want to feel out of control.
I can tell you from experience that fighting what is only makes you struggle more. When we relax a bit and begin to embrace the deeper reality of things, there’s a natural softening.
And softening the hard edges of our resistance brings spaciousness and flexibility, if only for a while as we surf the waves of our reactions.
No longer locked into the fight with ourselves, there’s room for more. As the field of what’s possible expands, we notice a deeper understanding, compassion and acceptance even in the midst of painful feelings, the flow of generosity, and creative responding that includes the whole.
Uncertainty is about the future, and exploring it brings us right here to our present moment experience.
We stay informed and make intelligent decisions based on love for all (e.g., social distancing even if it’s inconvenient). We welcome our reactions and resistances. We consider taking breaks from filling our heads (and bodies) with the news.
And we remind ourselves to watch the leaves blowing in the wind…notice our chest rise and fall with the breath…appreciate our time with family, friends, and pets…and embrace the abundance of all that’s given.