Uncertainty. Webster’s dictionary defines it as “A state of limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing state, a future outcome, or more than one possible outcome.” It incites fear, heartache and anxiety. It’s like looking into a deep abyss and having no clue what lies beyond.
Good or bad, it’s not knowing that’s so hard to deal with. It drives must of us crazy. So much so we are often willing to stay in horrible situations just to keep that anguish at bay. It’s a viscous cycle, feeding off itself, growing more powerful each day as we agonize and count the ways it can all fall apart. But in that very uncertainty is the possibility something better might happen that will propel us to a better place.
It’s believing that abyss isn’t a black hole but a passageway that holds the answers for a better path to achieve comfort, happiness and peace.
Change is never easy.
Change is always frightening. But without it we stagnate. Whether it’s welcoming a newborn into the family, marriage and the promise of a long lasting relationship, a new job, divorce, or moving to a different city, it all takes a leap of faith and the belief something better is on the horizon. The alternative is always wondering ,“What if?” A horrifying, empty and frustrating place to exist. What if I had done more? What if I had given it a try? Where would I be now? Success, growth and endless possibilities do not survive in a vacuum. Too often we feel compelled to stay where we are rather than face the challenges change can offer; feeling cornered and forced to accept the intolerable or mundane instead of embracing the unknown.
The old adage, “It’s the devil you know”, comes to mind. A way to excuse trying for fear the alternative may prove worse. But what if it’s not? We wouldn’t be contemplating change if we were happy where we are. We wouldn’t be searching or seeking out alternatives if where we are was acceptable.
Instead, maybe we need to see change as an opportunity and the uncertainty as a bridge to something exciting, fresh and new. Good or bad it will be different. A chance to enjoy unimaginable benefits and happiness. Too often we align ourselves with those who adamantly cling to the status quo, believing it represents stability. When that stability is just another way to fight for a sense of control in a world increasingly lacking control. Which is an illusion anyway.
No one is really in control of outside forces and pressures. No one can actually determine their results when other factors impact a part of the equation. It those cases we are just swept along in a frenzied current filled with others’ issues and needs. Breaking away and defining our needs and goals takes courage and independence. Frightening? Absolutely. But in the end, so much more fulfilling. The unknown is unknown until. . .it’s not.
During these uncertain, overwhelming and scary times, let’s not forget what got us here-fear of change. Fear of more people having a say in our lives that don’t think or look like us. Fear of losing control. Instead of fearing a devastating crash, maybe it’s time we joined together to form a breathtaking tapestry, filled with individual threads creating a brilliant and cohesive pattern that will protect and bind us for all time. In a moment that is seeking to isolate and fragment our lives further it’s time to acknowledge we have more in common than we believe.
The need to keep ourselves and our families safe.
The need to earn a fair wage in productive and respected jobs.
The need to stay healthy and well in the midst of a pandemic that threatens our very lives.
The need to feel stability in a progressively more chaotic world.
The need to feel a part of something instead of apart and alone.
The need to live our lives free from tyranny, oppression and hatred.
The need to not just survive, but thrive.
This is not working. We are all hurting. This has to change. Regardless of our preferences we must find a balance where all of us can prosper and be valued. Whatever the outcome, it’s time we all made that leap of faith.