I sat down at a coffee shop and had more to say than I thought about dealing with uncertainty. Here’s a direct pull from my January 20th journal entry I wrote while sipping a cappuccino at Wesley Andrews.
Everyone experiences doubt, across all aspects of life. People who truly believe that they are certain about something are maniacs and not to be trusted.
Telling others that you are certain about something is just a way to get them to take you seriously. Where there is confidence, there is doubt.
Life has told us time and time again to deny certainty, since the only thing that is truly certain is death. But does this mean that we should live in fear and chronic carefulness?
We deny ourselves pleasure and true happiness for the dread that we might one day be without it. There are risks that do not seem worth the disrupt they may cause.
We remain comfortable and static, but even immobility is not immune to the forceful claws of circumstance.
So how do we protect ourselves from heartache while also taking opportunities – safety not guaranteed? There is no way to be vulnerable without the potential of devastation, be it your own or another’s.
It’s not failure that limits us, it’s the fear of failure. Taking a risk that falls the wrong way is never as bad as the anxiety that we create by imagining what losses it could cause.
The ability to experience happiness comes from letting go of the what-if’s and accepting that the fate of our endeavors is almost never in our control.
We will always worry. We will always fear the state of balance in our life.
With the pain and suffering that fogs our world, peace and happiness do not seem trustworthy. As though there must be something we cannot see, a monster waiting in our, likely, near future to bear its teeth and remind us that happiness is always fleeting.
But what if we looked at our misery the same way we look at our delight? When life is going swimmingly, all we do is wonder what will go wrong and when.
While we often think a moment of content or joy is too good to stay, we rarely anticipate a wave of good fortune when life has knocked us down. When encompassed by sadness, happiness has never felt further away.
In fact, even when we are feeling happy and creating positive memories during dark times, we can’t acknowledge it. The sadness is too strong.
This is usually not the case when spirits are high. Because we don’t trust happiness, we are always glancing around subconsciously for areas of weakness or improvement. Moments of imperfection have more impact on us.
The truth is that these emotions and experiences coexist. Where there is beaming joy and love, there is also anger and powerful sadness. We cannot have one without the other.
Tiptoeing through life and avoiding uncertainty will not protect from misfortune. It could, in turn, be the source of our dissatisfaction and inability to embrace what may be the best for us.
By accepting happiness, we accept that it may change, will change. We are able to savor it and acknowledge the healing it provides us.
There is light and darkness within every experience and every person we meet. We cannot have one without the other, but living in fear and anticipation of downfall will pollute our present.
Holding our focus on what is, today, in this moment allows us to milk our day to day of every drop of happiness and peace – even when it feels like there isn’t any.
We can’t help that our normal will change. It will. And it will never stop, and it will never return. Not in the same way. This doesn’t mean that we will be unhappy.
Everything is temporary, but when we find something good, something that continually affects our life for the better, something that makes the hard times not so hard, it is our responsibility to maintain it in a way that is flexible with the twists and turns of life. This could be a friend, a lover, a job, a passion. It could be anything.
Fear not what lies ahead. It will happen anyway.