Living With Uncertainty
“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity” – R. I Fitzhenry
The uncertainty of life is what makes it so much fun. Uncertainty is fundamental in nature. It is a messy imperfection of life. But it is also the adventure of choosing a path and not knowing where it goes. It is the curiosity of going someplace new and imagining what you might discover about yourself in the process.
I love the thought of this idea of not even knowing we have wings until they are forced into opening up. Unraveling feels so scary, like you are coming apart. But unless you reach that moment, the wings do not unfurl. They won’t appear until they are needed.
“It is how we embrace the uncertainty in our lives that leads to the great transformations of our souls” – Brandon A Dean
Has anyone ever said to you, “I don’t know how you do it” about something in your life?
- Juggling work, home and family – You pull up your big girl panties and just start dealing with each thing as it comes up, one thing at a time
- Taking care of an elderly parent – You embrace the challenge with love, faith and grit
- Caring for a child with special needs – You realize you can’t do everything yourself and you ask for help when you need it
- Going to school and working fulltime – You call those you can trust, to confide in regarding the obstacle you are currently climbing over and get encouragement to give it one more push
- Starting a new business – You meditate, seeking clarity and simplicity for your life’s ambitions
- Dealing with the grief of losing a baby – You go for a walk in the woods and connect with nature to recharge your batteries, let go of what no longer serves you, and embrace the pain with compassion for yourself
The answer lies in realizing that you can handle anything when you aren’t given a choice. It defines who you are and who you are becoming, because every single choice is just that – a choice you make.
“Decisions are the endless uncertainties of life that we’ll not know if they’re right until the very end, so do the best you can and hope its right” – Lily Collins
“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss” – Eric Roth
There is something called the Uncertainty principle. It is part of quantum physics. It says that in the world of small particles, one cannot measure the property of the particle, without interacting with it in some way, which creates an unavoidable uncertainty into the result. Which means that the act of the observation of something, changes the thing irrevocably.
What this means in layman’s language is that the idea of a predictable future based on the choices you are making in this moment is impossible. You can guess at probable outcomes of a choice. Based on those probabilities, you can make flexible plans.
So for my choice of taking the “really lost” train track – there are a number of probabilities that would be reasons why the train isn’t going that way.
In the uncertainty principle for life, there is a grid for breaking down the complexity, volatility, ambiguity and risk of uncertainty. Gaining clarity defuses some of the uncertainty in life.
Ambiguity is like a sunrise just cresting the horizon. At first you can’t see clearly as everything still is shadowed. But the more that light is reflected out from the sun as it reaches higher in the sky, the more that what was in the shadows can be clearly seen. With ambiguity, gaining more knowledge about it creates clarity about it.
Clarity also breaks down the complexity of the subject, as you can clearly see where things connect and don’t connect. The more you know, the easier it is to take volatility out of the equation.
“Clarity and simplicity are the antidotes to complexity and uncertainty” – General George Casey
Clarity starts with curiosity. Being open to exploring the unknown. It is the journey of self discovery of why you are here. Clarity comes with conviction and true originality. It is experienced in the stillness of the soul. Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus in breaking down the complexity. The clarity of what your intentions are actually based on.
“Live your life as an exclamation, not as an explanation” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
It is about taking the train track that will infuse your life with action. When you take a tea bag and put it in a cup of hot water, the hot water becomes infused with the tea in the bag and makes a cup of tea. The longer the bag is left in the cup, the stronger the tea becomes.
Living your life as an exclamation point says that you aren’t sitting at home dreaming of making a choice on which track you are going to take. It means you are making the choice by getting on the track and forging forward. Put a period on the end of the choice. The period says you are making something happen.
Be prepared to embrace change with each new step on your journey. When the track ends, start laying new track.
“Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible” – Mandy Hale
There is a Japanese Proverb that says, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” This implies that you have some choice in the matter. Than if your mind focuses on other things than fear, that you can control how deep that fear is allowed to go.
There is such beauty in the creation process. When I find the perfect quote and picture it gives me such joy. No one achieves full mastery. There is always another level to grow into. And with each new level there will be failures, growth, and beauty. So don’t wallow in the failures. Don’t allow the failures to stop you. Unfurl those wings and fly.
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later”– Bob Goff
You are writing your life journey, page by page, day by day. Sometimes in writing these blogs the title is the first thing I type. Other times it is the last thing I type. Don’t be afraid to make space for the unknown. Sometimes the feeling needs to be explored before you can name it. Life’s most precious gift is uncertainty. Cherish it. Life always unfolds perfectly if you let it.