The period of travelling after leaving my job was only uncertain in that I wasn’t sure day to day where I might eat and end up drinking and how long I might choose to stay in a place before moving on.
In the background though was a context of greater uncertainty. I had left a job that I had worked in for many years and whilst I had prepared myself as much as I could for that leap it still was a leap into the unknown. In life when circumstance puts us in position of uncertainty it is inevitable that this will be uncomfortable and our natural desire will be to get out of that ‘state’ as quickly as possible (see my earlier blog post on being uncomfortable). However, if we are prepared to sit with periods of uncertainty it can give us a glimpse of what is certain in our lives:
- The Value of Ourselves- when things that we have relied upon external to us like a job or a relationship changes or ends, there is an opportunity for us to reflect and acknowledge our inherent value, our character, our skills, our purpose, the precious life we have. In relation to work it is the skills we learn and develop in every job we do that we can then nurture and develop to move forward. It is the ability to learn new skills knowing that we have done it in the past. In terms of ourselves, it is the things that make us ‘unique’, who we are, it is the reason why people are drawn to us and the things that if we allow we can love about ourselves
- The Value of Relationships- Friends may come and go. Family changes in shape and composition. We fall in love and that love may come to an end. In uncertainty, connections offer affirmation of the value of ourselves and something beyond ourselves at the same time.
- The Power of Acceptance – if we accept the very nature of life as it is certainty becomes less of a long-term aspiration replaced with an acceptance of the nature of change and uncertainty and a willingness to be open, curious and flexible to change and experience life as it shifts
- The Moment, the Present- perhaps the greatest constant of them all until we either significantly lose our health or die is the opportunity and beauty of a moment. If we can drop expectation based on the past, anticipation based on hope and experience it for what is we have potential.
Anxiety during times of uncertainty is very hard to counter but every time we meet it we have a chance to meditate and reflect on those things that are bigger, greater, deeper in our human experience.