How do you deal with the unknown?
Do you think of the worst, worry over things and then feel relief when the worst doesn’t happen?
Or do you continue with life “in denial” and decide to deal with the “reality” if and when it ever comes?
I deal with life in a “take it as it comes” way. My hubby worries enough for both of us!
I subscribe to the wisdom of Matthew (the biblical one) where in the book he wrote, he said:
“don’t worry about tomorrow, let tomorrow worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
This is more than just humming the song “don’t worry be happy” as you face a myriad of things that might be niggling away at the back of your mind, or those life events that rock the core of your foundation. To me, this is about faith. The blind kind, that means believing in something beyond ourselves.
I believe in God – I get that not everyone does. But to me, in these moments when we face the unknown, I take comfort in my faith. In knowing that no matter what – it will be ok.
No matter what comes, I will have the strength, because this Strength is not something I have to conjure up in myself, but instead in my weakness, this Strength, beyond me, has a chance to shine through. No matter what happens, I will have peace, because this Peace is not something I have to go on a pilgrimage to find, but instead as I meditate and pray, my worries are lifted, and Peace comes even when I don’t understand how. No matter what, I will find joy, because this Joy is not something that is dependant on what I have or do not have, it is the ground water that runs deep beneath, that seeps, and bubbles and leaps within my soul and reminds me that despite the storms, all is well.
I am a person who looks for the silver linings. I am an unashamed optimist. It has got me through so much in life.
I once lost a high school debate to a team that argued too well that optimists had their head in the clouds and that we should look at things as realists. Here’s the thing though. Sometimes reality sucks – and it is our outlook on life or the way we choose to respond to our reality that can make us or breaks us.
“Realism is for pessimists. An optimist creates his own reality” David Harley.
This week I had to face the unknown. It was only for a fleeting few days after a routine mammogram picked up some changes that warranted a core biopsy – not much fun in case you are wondering! It was the kind of uncertainty that had my hubby and I holding our breath as we waited for results, which were thankfully all clear! I just went through the motions and tried my best not to worry too much, until I had something to worry about. My hubby on the other hand, pretty much already had imagined me without my hair in chemotherapy. Seriously! When I rang him to tell him the results were all good, he reacted like he had just won the lotto! I guess that is the upside of imagining the worst?! I am ok with feeling relief wash over me – I just don’t need the drama of the emotional roller coaster ride!
We all face uncertainty from time to time.
Benjamin Franklin famously said:
“in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”
I have always said that there is nothing more certain than change. Others have been quoted as saying:
“there is nothing more certain than uncertainty”
Just when you think you have everything all figured out, the rug is pulled from underneath you, a curveball comes from left of field and suddenly you have to readjust. We have to be prepared for change in our lives, whether it is planned or not.
It is not so much about the life-changing event – or accepting the reality of it – it is so much more about how we respond.
I see many clients who are facing their own uncertainties. Uncertainties about their future, following the loss of a close loved one. Uncertainties about a court outcome. Uncertainties about how another family member might act.
I also see the full range of responses – those who are pessimists certain that things won’t go well based largely on past experiences – those who consider themselves realists, reacting to the things that happen in the moment – and those who respond with optimism, with hope for the future and what good can come of new things. Each person finds their own way to manage.
As an optimist I instinctively focus on the hope beyond the circumstance. For me – that is where the magic lies. How about you? How do you cope when dealing with the unknown?