Oh this Uncertain life
I write this in the wee hours of the morning; cross legged, with an endearing cup of coffee in my hand. I have been unable to peacefully sleep in the past few days, unsure of what exactly. Ever since finishing my final exam on Friday May 8th, a new rhythm that feels quite weighty has come across me. It’s unpleasant this new rhythm, my mind struggles to stay in the present, always bewildering here and there; to nowhere. I thought that I would be quite glad with this new found freedom of sorts. Free from not having to go to lectures, to not have to read any more academic papers, digest pieces of academic literature; and write essays. I now finally have time to actually do what I really wanted to do; which is to focus on my writing, learn more about food photography and bake more tasty healthy treats. In comparison to what I was supposed to do. –now that’s a whole other blog topic to come which I would love to discuss, this tension in our hearts between choosing to do what we feel we’re supposed to do and what we honestly really want to do.
But in having this freedom, in really pursuing what I want to do, I don’t have a clear grasp of where this is going to take me, or what journey I was going to embark on. And that troubles me. It’s as if my mind is trying to have a grasp on the future, make sense of it, clarify it. But internally, it unable to do so as it knows that it cannot know what may come forth in the days, months, years to come. I guess, honestly told I’m scared. In contrast to being at university for these past four years, I had an agenda, a set of classes, essays, tutorials, dissertation to complete and I knew that it was all leading to to graduation. There was certainty. I felt safe, and secure in the midst of a set agenda, because I knew, and could almost predict what was going to come in the next few days, weeks, or months.
I’ve always struggled with control. I think it became my mind’s comping mechanism after going through an emotionally troubled childhood. I used to have this incessant need of having to know every single detail of what’s going to happen in the day so that I get ready for it. I was terrible at having to be spontaneous at things, I just couldn’t. If something came up that wasn’t planned for or wasn’t on the agenda, anxiety would take over and I wouldn’t know what to do with it. This has lessened now, after working out through the issue when I was in recovery from my anorexia. Since I eventually understood that my need for control, the need to know the outcome of any situation was, at the heart of it, fear taking over. The fear of getting hurt again, and my mind after many years got into the habit of believing that by being able to control / know the outcome, it can minimize the chances of getting hurt….
Uncertainty is a part of life
But of course. That’s no way to live. Uncertainty is an inevitable part of life. and it’s how we respond and manage it that matters. As my life unfolds into a new chapter, it’s teaching me a lot about how to manage with the uncertainty of the days that will come. I want to share these tips that I’ve learned with you and I hope that it will benefit you as much as it has helped me!
1. Life is like a car shining its headlights; showing us the next step we need to go.
When a car shines its headlights whilst driving in the dark, the light will shine only as far as the driver needs to see. As the car moves forward, the headlights will continue to move forward with the driver. The metaphor here signifies that Life will give you as much as you need to see in this moment in time. When we come to grasp this, the uncertainty melts away because we come into a relationship with Life. We come to trust that Life will guide us forward in just giving us a bit of ‘preview’ of what’s to come and that’s all that we need. We can always go forth in the direction that lights us up 😉 When the time comes again to move forward, Life will show us again where we need to go.Life, like a car's headlights; will LIGHT UP the next road we need to take. Click To Tweet
2. Don’t think too far.
We sometimes may speculate and worry too much about the future that we lose track of what’s important in the present. Yes, we don’t know where Life will lead us in the next few months, but what we can put our trust is in the present moment. Again, back to number 1, Life will lead us to where the next natural passage for us to go in, all we need to do is to take care in focusing in the present moment. When we get too caught up in thinking about our future, we might begin to have expectations… ‘Oh, i’m going to achieve this by such and such, i want to have this by such and such time.’ Expectations might risk us from getting disappointed. It gets in the way of the natural flow of life, of the unfolding, of nurturing the process and learning as it goes.
So breathe…. let go, and release any expectations that you may have and allow your journey of Life to unfold as it should be.
3. Have faith; it’s all going to be good.
As I worked through and released my underlying need to control, i began reflecting on the good and tough times in my life. It came to my realisation that the tough times became the greatest teaching periods in my life. Yes, i cried, i struggled, had many sleepless nights (like this one…) and went through depression; but what are we without our wounds? It is after all from our wounds that we gain our most earnest wisdom.
And that’s where we grow, so have faith, have conviction that even when we encounter tough times, it is where we will experience the most radical life learning moments.
So, I’m going to shift gears, and practice turning any anxiety or fear I may have about the uncertainties of the future and turn it into excitement of what’s to come instead. and I hope that you’ll shift gears with me too.
Now, I want to hear from you! Do you have your own tips in managing with the uncertainties of life? Leave a comment below, I would love to connect with you! <3
As always, much love guys,