I watched an episode of Super Soul Sunday (my guilty pleasure) this past weekend, with Barbara Taylor Brown, a religion professor at Piedmont College. She talked about embracing the scary, dark areas of our lives that we inevitably encounter in the midst of change. Barbara defines darkness as a “place of unknowing”. This episode could not be more timely and led me to think about those of us who are going through situations of uncertainty. For some, uncertainty can be a change in jobs, relocating to a new city, navigating the growing pains of a relationship, or just feeling ungrounded as the year draws to a close. Even I have felt myself being guided into unknown territory in the past month that left me at times thinking, “Ok Universe, you’ve got my attention.”
Some change can feel like a gentle nudge and others can feel like the rug is being ripped out from under you hurling you into the depths of the unknown. I look at uncertainty like a whirlwind tunnel where the only direction you can go is through it. Not around it, not below it, not above it, but through it.
Here are a few things I know to be true when going through the grips of uncertainty at home and at work.
- Uncertainty reveals a side of yourself that was buried or hidden. Sometimes you’ll (re)discover your inner free-spirit who craves the adventure that comes with embracing the unknown.
- There will be many things you don’t know during times of uncertainty. Focus on what you do know and what you want. Let it guide you.
- The degree to which the uncertainty impacts your life is the degree to which you need to grow. Sometimes situations of uncertainty are designed perfectly to enhance our own growth process.
- You’re either running from uncertainty or embracing it. You’re either holding on or letting go. The process will go a lot smoother if you’re doing the latter.
- Your breath will be the single most important thing you have while navigating uncertainty. It is the only thing that will remain constant through times of change.
As you think about your own cycle of change, whether you’re at the cusp of it or thick into the throes of it, lean into it, dance in it, and embrace it. Let go of the need to know and learn to let life take the reigns for a bit.
Image by Ashley Leazer via Flickr