In a culture obsessed with logic and control, it can feel uncomfortable to sit with the mystery of life.
While the ego wants to protect us by trying to figure out and manage all possibilities and outcomes, the soul works on its own timeline, which is often beyond the understanding of the mind.
Deep down, we all know that we don’t know. And it can feel scary not to know!
Feeling uncertain is not only uncomfortable, it can also bring up painful or traumatic memories of times when the way to safety was unknown. Uncertainty might also feel shameful, as if there’s something wrong with you for not knowing. Trying to figure things out, intellectualizing situations, or trying to manage outcomes is a way of distracting ourselves from pain. Staying in the head is a way of keeping us from feeling fear and grief. Anytime there is an attempt to control, there is fear that is asking to be witnessed.
While often we associate uncertainty with fear, it doesn’t have to be that way. What if we practiced being okay with not knowing? What if you gave yourself permission to not know?
Let go of the burden of needing to figure it all out. Expecting such an impossible task of yourself is adding unnecessary pain to your life. It’s also not your responsibility to have it all figured out.
Years ago, when I was trying to control the outcome of something, one of my first spiritual mentors told me, “Stop trying to be God’s secretary.” It was a great reminder that there is a plan larger than my limited human mind can comprehend, and it’s not my responsibility to figure it all out. All I can do is to make choices in the present moment with the information I have available.
Another analogy I love is the image of driving down a road at night. Your headlights can only see several feet ahead of you, yet you trust that the road will continue even if you can’t see it in the dark. You don’t need to see further than what’s just ahead of you. You can trust that as you get to the next part of the road, you’ll be able to see what’s next.
Rather than trying to make feelings of uncertainty go away through controlling and managing, a healthier way to approach them is to be curious. How can you hold your feelings of uncertainty gently and with love and acceptance? How can you acknowledge your feelings while also attuning to trust?
These are some of the affirmations I use when I find myself in the panic of uncertainty:
>> I have permission not to know.
>> In my uncertainty, I am still safe.
>> Even though I don’t know what will happen, I’m willing to trust that it will all work out.
>> In the face of uncertainty, I choose to be present.
>> In this moment, I know I am safe.
>> I stay with this moment, I stay with myself.
>> It’s normal and safe to feel fear, it doesn’t mean I’m unsafe.
>> I honor my feelings while also choosing to believe in my ability to meet whatever arises.
Some ways you can use these affirmations:
>> Say them to yourself in the mirror while looking into your eyes.
>> Write them on Post-its and put them where you’ll see them regularly.
>> Write them several times in your journal for several days in a row.
>> Use them to connect to your inner child, by putting your hand on heart and comforting the scared part of you.
>> Use them as part of an EFT tapping practice.
Repetition is key when attempting to rewire your thoughts and feelings. The more you use these affirmations, and especially when you use them in ways that access your subconscious (like automatic writing or EFT), the more likely you will anchor them as truth into your being.
Part of working with uncertainty is developing trust. The first way to develop trust is choosing to show up consistently for yourself.
Remember, you don’t have to know everything. All you have to do is stay with yourself and offer yourself compassion, acceptance, and hope.
May all your scared parts know and trust that everything will be okay, and even if it’s not, that will be okay too.
And if trust still feels inaccessible to you, you can lean on mine until you reconnect with your own.