Embracing Uncertainty

“That man is prudent who neither hopes or fears anything from the uncertain events of the future.”    Anatole France (French Writer)

How much energy do you spend trying to ensure that everyone and everything in your life is in control?  How much does being in total control and remaining in safety zone create boundaries and defenses around your existence?  What would it take for you to let go of the need for everything to work out exactly as you intended?  Are you aware that this need for control is really based in fear? 

Life is unpredictable.  The one and only element we can control is ourselves.  The only certainty in life is that life is uncertain.  We cannot know the future or control it.  When we spend so much time, attention and energy on trying to control our outside environment, so that we can live in a false sense of certainty, we miss so much of the enjoyment and spontaneity of life.  It is in the places and situations that are unfamiliar that we learn and grow.  Think about it, if you always stay in what you know, then you will only ever learn that which you already know.  If you were to surrender your need to be right, if you were to surrender the need to have control, if you were to surrender the fear of the unfamiliar, how much lighter, richer and peaceful would your life be?

Susan Jeffers has written a book on the joy of embracing uncertainty and the freedom this offers you. She writes–

If we truly accepted the fact that life was uncertain, we wouldn’t be looking for guarantees.  We would be looking for something else.

We would look for the valuable gifts inherent in all that happens to us … no matter how bad things may seem in any given moment.  Finding the gifts minimizes – even erases – the suffering.

We would look for a way of being in the world that assures us that we could handle whatever life hands us.  Therefore, we would live with a ‘bring-it-all-on’ attitude, knowing that we are prepared for anything that comes our way!

We would look for a way of being in the world that allows us to see uncertainty not as something to fear, but as an enriching aspect of life.

This concept at first may seem hard but like any new habit or way of thinking you need to adopt the attitude and take it with you for awhile, taking note of the differences it makes in your everyday.  In the words of Ernestine Ulmer “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first”.

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