It’s hard to see what’s happening around us and not wonder what is going happen in our own lives. The big picture is we know we will face huge weather changes with the forecasted El Nino, will need to know what to do with thousands of refugees seeking a safe life, and be confronting the unknown enemy in the face of terrorism. But there’s a smaller picture too, which includes caring for our own family.
So it’s not surprising if there is some uncertainty about tomorrow, let alone the year to come. It takes huge courage to shift the story line and move into the unknown that is without reference points, as it means stepping outside of our usual comfort zone.
There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Emerging from three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp, psychiatrist Victor Frankl said that after his imprisonment and the destruction of his family, he had been left with only “the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
That is the choice that each one of us has—a choice in how we live our lives, despite the difficulties we face, and how we care for each other.
Life never stands still, no matter what we do. Change is the very nature of existence—our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, ideas, even our relationships are as changeable as the weather or the seasons. Who we are now is not who we were last year, last week, yesterday, even a minute ago. Already our feelings have changed, our thoughts are different, and some of our cells have died while others have been created.
Without change in ourselves we become stifled and stagnant. Being with what is as it is, and integrating the reality of change is wonderfully liberating; we can become fearless through uncertainty.
Here are 10 ways to embrace that uncertainty:
- Accept what is. If you can change something, then do; if you can’t change anything, then release resistance and be with what is.
- Take risks. Life is about not having answers, taking chances and risks, and making the most of every moment, all without knowing what’s going to happen next.
- Be your own best friend. It is easy to blame and shame yourself for everything that goes wrong, but now is the time you deserve the most love and kindness of all.
- Every day is a new beginning. Each time you take a step forward you have no idea what might happen. But nothing will happen if you continue to stay where you are.
- Keep falling as long as you keep picking yourself up. Making mistakes is not the problem, but not learning from them and moving on is.
- Nothing lasts forever. Appreciate every moment, fully and completely, as it will never happen again.
- Think with your heart instead of your head. When you come from your heart you quickly come to your senses.
- Meditate. Take time to just stop and breathe, to remember why you are here, and to find what is of real meaning to you.
- Do something for someone else. Make giving to others a part of your life, even just a smile and a hug.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. A good sense of humor prevents a hardening of your attitudes, and stops your opinions from getting too rigid.
Let’s ensure 2016 brings a greater sense of sanity to this crazy world and a greater peace of mind for ourselves. Let’s make this day, this week, this month, and this whole year, one of compassion and tenderness. Happy New Year!