Life is uncertain.
Life is inherently uncertain and unsafe. Physical death awaits us all. This, too, is part of life. Nothing will ever change that. Not the myriad ways in which we try to control circumstances, nor all the precautionary measures in the world combined. One day, all our bodies will perish, one way or another.
Life is uncertain.
There appears to be a fever-pitch hysteria of trying to cling to the illusion of control at all costs - especially in the current situation in May 2020. In times of great uncertainty, any proclamations and measures suggesting a greater degree of safety are often uncritically and hastily accepted. "Just make the threat go away, whatever has to be done!" seems to be a driving thought.
Life - really - is uncertain.
We as humans experience an innate fear of the unknown for good reasons. It's nature's way of keeping us alive. The unknown could spell danger, or even death. Therefore, the unknowable needs to be kept at bay.
The relationship between control and safety comes up in coaching sessions with clients regularly. In a shortened form, this relationship often boils down to something akin to:
control = safety
more control = more safety
absolute control = absolute safety
The reverse is usually implied:
no control = no safety
no control = death
Another way of saying it: life is inherently uncertain.
No matter how much perceived control we can exert over our own life, career, or over external circumstances, we can't and never will know what's going to happen next. All we have is educated guess work. But absolute knowledge about what the next moment will bring? Sadly, no.
Did I mention that life is most definitely uncertain?
However, confronting the unknown and that which primordially frightens us most is key to a life where fear is not the great dictator.
Looking your fears in the face reveals a strength in you that you might not have known before. Behind it, you might find courage and a curiosity to try out new things - or new ways of being - that before you wouldn't have dared to pursue.
Fear still shows up. Fear still is felt. Yet, it will have lost its iron-clad grip over our minds and imagination. But where does fear actually exist inside of us? What's the container, or space, that this fear can show up in so that it is felt?
From my point of view, my fears arise in the bigger space of who I am in essence. Words to describe this essence might be soul, higher self, true self or also deeper self - among others. Here, we can recognise the fear but not be consumed by it.
So, our fears show up inside our essence, that inner space which allows us to even be able to call it fear. And if so, wouldn't you agree then that they can never outgrow this space as otherwise, where would they exist in?
And if so, wouldn't that mean that you are always bigger and more powerful than your fears?
Life, for sure, is uncertain - but also full of opportunity.
What if we turned this whole idea of uncertainty on its head? Uncertainty is just another word for possibility. When we have accepted our fear as part of the human experience, what becomes available? What can you do with all that freed up energy once spent on worrying and trying to control and predict the future?
Life is possibility.
What if you instead embraced uncertainty and the unknowable? We often spend huge amounts of energy and time trying to arrange external circumstances to lull us into a feeling of safety and security.
Yet, deep down, we also know that it's all but an illusion because we have no trouble finding hundreds of scenarios where this hard-fought-for perception crumbles instantly. Which is what actually brought us here in the first place - a never-ending vicious circle of giving away our power for the illusion of control.
Can you love, accept and be with uncertainty?
Can you love the state of not knowing? Can you be fully accepting of the fact that you will never - no matter how hard you try - be certain of what the next moment will bring?
How much easier and more relaxed would your life become?
How much more energy would you have available for the people, circumstances and situations in your life that you actually can influence? Imagine the freedom you would create in all areas of your existence if you adopted such a mindset?
If you made it this far, you might ask "That sounds nice and all, great story. But how can I do that? On a practical, everyday-level? How do I actually get from here to there?"
My next post is exactly about that. See you there?