About living with uncertainty

About living with uncertainty
(16 July 2019)

At some point in our lives, we find ourselves in periods of uncertainty, in which we do not know which actions to take or which direction to choose. We are unable to continue our life as before. Uncertainty can come in many forms. It could be financial uncertainty, lacking an income, or it could be medical uncertainty, dealing with a disease or simply old age. Or it could be related to unstable relationships. Whatever the nature of uncertainty, in such situations, we fear that we might lose our life as we know it. It is both painful and scary.

In such situations, our emotional state is dominated by confusion. We do not know which actions to take in order to escape from the bad outcomes that we anticipate. Sometimes it feels easier to be in a desperate situation, than in an uncertain one, since there are fewer options to choose from. Having to make a decision can cause greater stress than just accepting a bad outcome.

When we look deeply at the cause of fear and stress that comes from uncertainty, we discover the same mechanism that is part of our daily life: the ability to imagine and predict the future. Moreover, we realize that, in such situations, this idea of prevention, a strategy that normally protects us from harm, can backfire on us. This ability that we have as human beings can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on circumstances. The more we try to avoid certain future outcomes, the more stress and confusion we create to ourselves. This can sometimes become a downward spiral from which we cannot escape.

It seems that our only solution is to temporarily give up our commitment to the future, whichever that is, and simply focus on the present. We can decide to not imagine anything and just observe what we already have in the present moment, without judging or even wanting to change it. We can decide to not use our imagination when it doesn’t help us, while causing us stress, fear and pain. We can decide to not prevent any future outcome and just accept whatever happens to us. When we do this, we discover that our mind becomes clear and quiet, and with that comes new energy and freedom to act.

If we really want to learn how to cope with uncertainty, then we must include it into our own lifestyle. We must not only consider uncertainty, but actually build our entire way of living based on it. Moreover, if we want to really succeed in this direction, we must look at death itself, in all its forms, from the death of our body, to the death of our dreams and desires. If we want to be capable of living with uncertainty, then we must make death an integral part of our life.

 

The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.

— Eckhart Tolle

2 thoughts on “About living with uncertainty

  1. Thank you for writing this piece. As I read, your words resonated with my own religious and personal beliefs-uncertainty in life. By acknowledging that our lives are short-lives no matter how long they may seem, our view of our existence changes drastically. We were created for a purpose and we must spend our lives fulfilling that purpose so we can move on to our permanent home in The Hereafter. Even for people who don’t have religious beliefs, they will discover throughout their lives that life is precarious and there is nothing so called as stability in life. I was told once that marriage meant stability. I got married at 20, but I discovered that life was still the same. No fairytales, no magic and no fantasy. Then people said that stability comes after you have children. Ten years into my marriage, I was blessed with triplets. But the sense of stability was no where to be found. I realized that family like religious beliefs and values, helps anchor a person to stay on the right path and to not deviate from her/his divine purpose. Many people think that indulging in life’s luxuries gives a feeling of stability. I discovered this from experience to have no ground. Even when you have the time of your life doing something you’ve always wanted, the happiness passes and sometimes you’re left with a big question mark in your head: Now what? You try to find something more indulging, but it’s all the same. I live with the purpose of leaving a good trace behind. My reward according to my beliefs is in The Hereafter . Many times God rewards us for doing good in our lives and we see tangible things happening to us. We have no control(uncertainty) of all actions that can take place, but it doesn’t matter. We’re only responsible for how we respond. Certainty lies in believing that this world in uncertainty.

    Liked by 2 people

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