Embracing the uncertainty

LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - February 26, 2020 - 12:00am

Life is uncertain and there’s no doubt about it. Because of this, we cannot help having fear lurking in our inner being. Like what will the future bring to my children? Who will take care of me when I’ll be ill? What if my spouse will no longer be around, what if my children would not take care of me when I’m old, what if my business will fail, what if I lose my job, what if...?

We have to bear in mind that we have no control of the future. What we can do is to enjoy the present whatever that is, either it’s a day of joy or a day of challenges. After all, nothing lasts forever. Author Susan Jeffers  writes: “It is now the time for you to take a deep breath and surrender to the fact that you can control nothing when it comes to the future. To help you accept the reality, you need to say to yourself over and over again, ‘I have no control of the future.’ As you repeat this affirmation over and over again, you will soon come to realize that this ‘negative’ statement is a very positive affirmation. You will conciously let go of any hope that you can create any certainty in your life. When you finally do reach the state of surrender, you can’t help but feel the peace that comes when you stop trying to do the impossible.”

On my end, my greatest weapon to sheild me from the fear of the unknown is prayer. Prayer brings me closer to the Lord and gives me the grace and comfort to trust Him more, to take care of my children and their families, to trust and have faith in Him that whatever is in store for my life I know that He is in control of everything and know what’s best for us.

I believe in the power of the present moment. When negative thoughts start to occur in my mind, I focus in the present moment. Bringing my awareness in the present moment makes me change my thoughts to positive ones.It gives me the acceptance of the condition presently in my life and makes me realize that what I am afraid of actually does not exist.

Praying the Serenity Prayer is a great help when fear of uncertainty grips me: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

In  our journey in life, no one can avoid the unexpected. However  there are ways that can help us in facing life’s uncertainties with a rosy perspective.  The  apa.org website suggests the following:

* Be kind to yourself. Some people are better at dealing with uncertainties than others, so don’t  beat yourself up if your tolerance for unpredictability is lower than a friend’s.  Remind yourself that it might take time for the stressful situation to resolve, so be patient with yourself in the meantime.

* Limit exposure to news. When we’re stressed about something, it can be hard to look away. But compulsively checking the news only keeps you wound up. Try to limit your check-ins and avoid the news during vulnerable times of day, such as right before bedtime.

* Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control. When uncertainty strikes, many people immediately imagine worst-case scenarios.  Get out of the habit of ruminating on negative events.

*Take your own advice. Ask yourself, “If a friend came to me with this worry, what would I tell her?” Imagining your situation from the  outside can often provide a clearer perspective and fresh ideas.

*Engage in self-care. Don’t let stress derail your health routines. Make efforts to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Many people find stress release in practices such as yoga and meditation.

*Control what you can. Focus on the things that are within your control, even if it’s as simple as weekly meal planning or laying out your clothes the night before a stressful day. Establish routines to give your days and weeks some comforting structure.

Here’s a story shared by Sofo Archon, at the website upliftedconnect.com, which illutrates how uncertain life can be and the wisdom of embracing change rather than controlling or fighting against it:

“There was a farmer whose horse ran away. That evening the neighbors gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, “May be.” The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses, and the neighbors came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, “May be.” And the following day his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses. He was thrown and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said, “May be.” The day after that, conscription officer came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer’s son was rejected. When the neighbors came in to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, “May be.”


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