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You do not fear the unknown


You do not fear the unknown.


What you actually fear is what you think that you know, which is really a projection of the past onto some future that hasn’t happened yet. That is a perfectly justifiable fear, but let’s try to see it for what it is.


We attempt to know so that we can prevent pain. 


However, as my one of favourite mythologists Michael Meade once said:


“A false sense of security is the only kind there is.”

While physics is applying its laws to us at all times, when it comes to our direct human experience we rarely know what is going to happen next with any kind of certainty. This truth implies that uncertainty is the fabric of life. 


So what is the answer to this very human predicament; how do we handle the unknown? Shall we all cast aside our insecurities and gaslight ourselves into believing that everything is love and light and life is always happening for us?


Well, those principles can be useful. Buddhist teachings on attachment do indeed inform us that God/the Universe/Source (or whatever other unified concept of ultimate reality you subscribe to) is always carrying us to our highest good. I guess those who teach these lovely ideas these days like to conveniently skip the part about being dragged through the mud on the way sometimes...


Anyway, I suggest that you swim in these ideas too quickly after something big happens. Sometimes the "why" follows after we are done figuring out the "how". 


Those I know who do best when the going gets tough are the ones who know how to surf the waves as they come, and are really okay with the idea of selecting “I don’t know” as a perfectly acceptable starting point. And then getting on with what needs getting on with.


These are some of the key skills I support my clients in building during our work together. 


When uncertainty is looming, learning trumps knowing. New perspectives are needed. Questions can help create those, in combination with openness to receive the answers. Additionally, having discernment around where routines and relationships will support you and offer stability, and where a choice for change needs to be made instead.


Francis Bacon, English philosopher and statesman born in the 16th century, said:


“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”

Thankfully for us, true wisdom doesn’t go out of date. 


Stay curious. Stay open. Avoid avoiding pain. That’s not living; living is the full spectrum experience.


Thanks for showing up.


Keep showing up.


 

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