Posts tagged ‘uncertainty’

October 25, 2015

Sometimes you just gotta go through it

Are you facing a fear or uncertainty that’s stalled your progress in a particular direction? Remember this verse from an old children’s song:

Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Can’t go around it. Have to go through it!

Whether you’re encountering long grass and oozy mud on a make-believe “bear hunt,” or confronting obstacles (real or perceived) in day-to-day life, sometimes the only way forward is through!

November 12, 2014

It’s the heaviness in life that launches flight

I like this passage from the book The Road is How by Canadian naturalist Trevor Herriot:

Is there a way to love, I wonder, without ever scaring one another? Without the descent off rooftops and into old age, without knowing the fear in one another’s eyes? Somehow in this life, it is the heaviness that lets a bird launch into flight, and the uncertainty ahead that makes us walk new pathways.

In other words, take the fear with the love, the heaviness with the lightness, the uncertainty with the sureness, and be grateful. For without these former elements, we would never know the grace of the latter.

October 25, 2014

Let go of “right” or “wrong” and go with your gut

Artist and author Toni Carmine Salerno writes:

Ultimately there are no right or wrong decisions, only different experiences.

These words take some pressure off those of us who tend to worry about whether we’re making the “right” choice about how to proceed in whatever life circumstances we’re facing.

Ultimately, every choice you make is the right one, because every experience you encounter holds value. The key, I think, is to let your intuition be your guide: if your intuition (a.k.a. gut instinct, subconscious mind, higher self, etc.) keeps poking you to do a certain thing or move in a certain direction, listen! Do that thing your intuition urges, even if the idea seems crazy or risky to your rational mind and/or the people around you.

The heart holds much truth. In the last few years, I have discovered that listening to my heart’s urgings (no matter how ridiculous or frightening they may at first seem) actually brings resolution to some of the fractious or troublesome pieces of my life. Acting on these urges isn’t always easy, and the outcome may not always be what I’d hoped for, but the process enables me to either embrace something new or let go of something old (often something that’s been dogging me for a long time). I loose my mind of the anxiety associated with “should I / shouldn’t I / what if?” and I’m able to move forward lighter, freer, contented — and proud of myself for taking control of my life. A very empowering and totally worthwhile experience. ūüôā

December 19, 2013

Get on that train (before it leaves for good)

Life offers countless opportunities for each of us to grab on to new adventures and experiences and see where they lead. Often, as we head out in some new direction, we do so blindly, with no idea of where we’ll actually end up. All we can do is decide to board that new train (unfamiliar as it is) and place our faith in the journey ahead.

Yet many people shy away from new adventures, activities and relationships out of a fear of the “unknown entities” that might lurk along the way. Without having proof that these entities actually exist, people worry that these phantoms will somehow overpower them, or derail the journey altogether. But each of us is stronger (and braver) than we think. And each of us is clever, resourceful and capable enough to overcome any obstacles that might loom ahead.

The real crux of the situation is this: when¬†an opportunity comes your way and you let it pass, it may never come your way again. Never. Would your life be fuller, richer — more magical — if you summoned the courage to embrace more of these proffered adventures and experiences before they slip away forever?

To quote the train conductor from the 2004 movie The Polar Express (in which children must choose whether or not to board a magical train that will transport them to the North Pole):

The thing about trains is, it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.

The next time an enticing opportunity comes your way, decide to get on. Ride the magic, and believe in your own ability to see the journey through.

March 14, 2013

Of midair leaps and burning bridges

I like this excerpt from “Central American Dreams” by Jennifer Bingham Hull, one of several stories included in the women’s travel anthology Go Your Own Way: ¬†Women Travel the World Solo:

When the sages say, “Jump and the bridge will appear,” they don’t mention the other bridges burned or that moment in mid air . . . . In that space between the familiar and the foreign, you feel like your spirit could blow away with the first wind.

To me, this quote captures that feeling of gut-wrenching uncertainty that follows any major change of direction you make in your life. ¬†When you purposely leap into the unknown, you necessarily close some doors, end some relationships, say “no” to one path or way of being and “yes” to another. ¬†In a sense, there is no going back to where (or how) you were before. ¬†The old ties — the ones that held you down and kept you “secure” for so long — have been cut, and you are now sailing through the air, untethered, unmoored. ¬†Granted, you have before you your vision for the future, for the new life you want to build, but it looks so small and indistinct from where you are now. ¬†Caught in mid-dive between the old and the new, you wonder, “Can I really hit that tiny little target I’m aiming for? ¬†And if I can, is it really big enough to hold me up, to sustain me? ¬†Was I right to leave a life of sharp detail for this fuzzy unknown?”

Temporarily stripped of your context and tumbling outside the bounds of your comfort zone, you might feel fragile, formless and uncertain about the decision you have just taken.

In this period of freefall, surrounded as you are by nothing, remember to do one thing: ¬†wait it out. ¬†Your goals will become clearer the closer to get to reaching them. ¬†Your fears will subside. ¬†And you have with you the one thing that you can truly depend on to get you through this moment — indeed, through anything: ¬†yourself. ¬†Trust yourself, and trust your motivations. ¬†You’ll make it. ¬†You’ll get where you need to go.

February 2, 2013

Life is random, like a bouncey-castle

Salman Rushdie’s novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet¬†provides this wonderful perspective on the randomness of human relationships, and of life in general:

Our lives disconnect and reconnect, we move on, and later we may again touch one another, again bounce away.  This is the felt shape of a human life, neither simply linear nor wholly disjunctive [detached] nor endlessly bifurcating [forking into two paths], but rather this bouncey-castle sequence of bumpings-into and tumblings-apart.

Life’s encounters, Rushdie suggests, are completely random. ¬†You might be able to choose which bouncey-castle you enter — or even whether you enter at all — but once inside, you can’t control exactly where the motions will take you. ¬†You certainly won’t travel in a straight line, or bounce around in isolation, or move either up or down, left or right, according to your choice. ¬†Instead, you’ll careen around the place, crashing into some people while never quite reaching others. ¬†You’ll be hit from behind — unexpectedly knocked off course — by some encounters, while others will bounce right into your arms when you least expect it. ¬†Even if you do control your trajectory for a while, you never know what the ground beneath you is doing — how it is rippling and rolling in response to the leaps and bounds of the other people cartwheeling around in there with you. ¬†What seems like stable footing might suddenly shift under your feet, throw you left when you wanted right, tumble you head over heels who knows where. ¬†No matter how you set your course, you never know exactly where your bounces will take you, and you never know who or what is heading your way.

What I like about this concept is that it encourages each of us to make the most of — to “jump on” — those bumpings-into that truly intrigue and attract us while we can. ¬†At the exact moment when we cross paths or bounce in parallel with a like-minded soul, we have the ability, the opportunity, to reach out and hold on, to travel together for a while, wrapped in each other’s arms, until momentum pulls us apart. ¬†These moments of shared travel may not last long, but we can live them fully while they’re there, until we tumble away into something new.

December 25, 2012

All aboard! Your train awaits.

Today’s quote comes from the 2004 film¬†The Polar Express¬†and hints at the importance of taking that leap to start your own journey before the moment passes you by. ¬†Says the conductor of the film’s magical train:

The thing about trains [is] it doesn’t matter where they’re going. ¬†What matters is deciding to get on.

We can never predict where the journey will take us.  We must always take uncertainty along for the ride, accept the unknown as our constant travel companion.  So be it.  We can still take that first step and choose to embark on the journey in the first place.  Yes, we can.

Merry Christmas.  Be well.