On Embracing Uncertainty

There’s been a lot of uncertainty in my life lately, which has made me think about the ways in which I’ve practiced in order to exist in a state of uncertainty without allowing situations to develop into negative situations.

The world is changing at a rapid pace. I know this because I see how technology is accelerating our cultural evolution with my own eyes. I know because when I look within myself I see how fast my internal sense of being is shifting.

I know because when I look outward I see people who can breathe, and I see those who are locking up in face of change.

The ones who can breathe are thriving. The ones who aren’t trained in embracing change are locking up, shutting down, and turning off.

Our first reaction to uncertainty might not always be the most healthy, or even beneficial. We want to search for security when faced with an overwhelming change, security often looks like a box. We throw ourselves into the box, the idea of what we’re supposed to cherish as ‘being safe’ as a way of protecting ourselves.

The box isn’t protection though, it’s a temporary prison. The change is still going around outside, you’ve just shut down your senses so you can’t feel it anymore.

The box can look like many things. The box can be trying to make plans to get past the fact that you have no idea what will happen. The box can be reacting in anger, jealousy, rage, placing blame on others, the external world, for allegedly causing you harm. The box can be ignoring that there’s any uncertainty at all. The box can be as simple as saying ‘it’s not my job to deal with the situation that’s in front of me.’

The longer you’re in the box, the more it will hurt when you come out.

The reality is that no one is ever causing you harm. The world is fluid, and change is the only constant. When we cling, to an idea, to an expectation, to a person, to a place, we simply end up causing ourselves more suffering.

We’re told by society everywhere, on the TVs, movies, books, etc that we need to control our lives. Everything needs to be in nice, clean, orderly rows. A job is supposed to be a job, a man is supposed to be a man, an email is supposed to be an email, a definition is supposed to be a definition, a marriage is supposed to be forever, and a btw why not go get a house in the suburbs and a two cars for the garage?

That was never our destiny, we know that because when we try those things they don’t feel right. Security makes us tired.

When we cling to the idea of security it makes us want to drink an entire bottle of Jäger and puke on ourselves. Security makes us want to turn off our Internet and throw that glass vase our aunt gave us that we didn’t want against our kitchen wall.

I’m writing this from a place of existing in uncertainty, I know because these days I’m not sure where I’ll be sleeping at night. I jumped on a plane to Seattle, and ended up in Boulder –which ended up being the best last minute decision in my life.

The reality of uncertainty is that it is actually the most rewarding state for humans to exist in. In an uncertain world, days can seem like weeks or months in the space/time continuum. In an uncertain world, ideas come at the speed of light. In an uncertain world, you can put your feet down in any city without a plan and you’ll survive, thrive, and discover the depths in yourself and others.

In a certain world, years can blink past in an instant. For me, the last month or so of uncertainty has felt like one thousand years.

Written on January 31, 2011