I’m in an “in-between” time in life right now, which feels unstable, uncertain and unknown. All of us have been in one before. Maybe you’re in one right now.
When I thought about writing this post, I wanted to call it “Embracing Uncertainty.” The more I toyed with that name, I realized that “embracing” might be too strong of a word. Embracing uncertainty, to me, feels like giving uncertainty a huge bear hug and saying “I just freaking LOVE not knowing what’s going on in my life!!!” And while that’s a perfectly nice thought to get to, it feels a little out of reach at the moment.
The feeling that has been available to me recently, in fleeting moments, is ACCEPTANCE of the uncertainty of life. In these moments, I’ve realized something. A lot of suffering comes from wishing reality were different. Wishing we knew what our next step was already. Wishing we had already found our next home, our next job, our next relationship. Wishing we had the stability that comes with having those things. Wishing we weren’t in whatever situation we were in. Wishing something didn’t happen or that someone didn’t act the way they did.
But the truth is, a lot of that stability we want is an illusion. You could find a job, a home, a marriage, “make a solid plan” – or whatever – and those things could end or change at any time. Alternately, you could find yourself wishing for the opposite of stability once you actually have it– “I wish I weren’t tied down, I wish I had the freedom to travel, to see other people, to have more flexibility.” Am I right?
Sigh. Humans are weird.
My point is, life IS uncertain no matter what. And as soon as we can learn to accept that uncertainty is part of the process, and flow with life instead of pushing against it and trying to control it, we may be able to find peace in chaos.
Accepting where you’re at right now isn’t always easy, but the peace you feel once you do can open up space for what you really wish for to flow into your life.
A friend gave me this quote the other day, and it described how I felt PERFECTLY.
“It was uncomfortable to let go of my past before there was evidence of something new. It was also disquieting to release the way I had always seen myself – my identity, so to speak. Getting rid of so many things that defined who I was left me with a tremendous void that danced in the pit of my stomach. However, I really believe that if you want to create something wonderful in your life, if you truly want to make a big change, you’ve got to learn to tolerate the “in-between” time. That’s the period in which we let go of who we know ourselves to be in order to allow for the possibility of who we might become.” – Katherine Woodward Thomas
WHAT! That quote is so good.
If you’re feeling uncertainty and it feels scary, I get it. Something that’s helped me is to really believe that the answers I’m looking for will come — if I don’t have them yet, it means I’m not supposed to have them yet.
Another thing that helps is to look at your track record. During every other “in-between” time in my life, eventually I’ve found the next thing. I never just lived in a “what the hell is going on” phase forever with no answers of any kind. Remember the other times you were in an uncomfortable in-between phase. And remember how things fell into place.
I don’t have all the answers. What I DO have is my breath, and the ability to slow down and let life unfold. So I’ll remember to breathe, to stay open to answers and to move gracefully with the flow of life. I promise to do that if you will too.