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Living with Uncertainty

In my not so distant past, I spent an inordinate amount of time worrying. There were many nights when sleep eluded me due to my fears. My health began to suffer, and my life felt out of control. I felt helpless. Uncertainty had me so stressed out that life and everything and everyone in it became a burden instead of a joy.

We live in uncertain times, but we must recognize that uncertainty is inevitable. It is part of living and we must learn how to live with it. So how do we challenge our anxieties about the future? The stress we are focusing on is not at the core of uncertainty; it is our response to it. Our need for control. Our incessant attempt to box reality into the stories we have created in our minds. And when it refuses to go into that box, we panic.

So how do we challenge our anxieties about the future? We create new stories that help us develop resilience and ride the wave of uncertainty; we begin to live again as we did when we were children.

Children are adaptable, curious, and excited about each new day. They are flexible, and as such, they create their lives around constantly evolving possibilities. For the most part, even when those dreams do not materialize, they race forward with hope, excitement, and wonder into whatever waits around the bend. Because they do not have fixed, preconceived opinions about what must happen when they reach that bend, they live in the moment where each new opportunity carries immense possibilities. They do not seek to control the event; they seek to enjoy it.

When you understand that you are in a time in your life when control may no longer be possible, you have two choices: you can rail and scream against the unfairness, worry, and become ill. Or, you can surrender and grow. Surrender is not giving up. It is understanding that you have done everything possible but that now you must let go of your need to control the outcome and accept that everything is working out exactly as it should. Create a new story and move forward in awe. Focus on all the immensely wonderful things that the world contains and the many opportunities that are unfolding right in front of you right now.


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