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BK Blog Post
Much has been said about being in the present.
It’s the place to be, according to the gurus,
like the latest club on the downtown scene,
but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions. taken from The Present,
Billy Collins identifies for us the paradox (and humor) with our push toward “being in the here and now” in his recent poem The Present. Being present is often advice we hear. In fact, I often give others and myself this sort of counsel: “Take a deep breath, what’s wanting your attention, Now?”
Recently, “be present” has been replaced or accompanied by “learn to live with uncertainty.” We are all living with much uncertainty as a result of the recent election. For some of us uncertainty is also close to home.
Asking our selves to live with uncertainty is like pushing ourselves to live more in the present moment. In reality, we are already here now, in this experience, and, there is nothing (whatsoever) that is for certain.
Nevertheless, there are ways we can live more creatively and positively with uncertainty. This time of uncertainty for me has reminded me to "make everything the path" toward wholeness and awakening.
What might help when living with (so much) Uncertainty:
“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.“Can’t you?” the queen said in a pitying tone.
“Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”Alice laughed.
“There’s no use in trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Basically, we want an approach to these uncertain times that help us relax with paradox and ambiguity. Nothing is ever resolved for good. You know:–everything changes. (Or change is the only constant). So focusing our energy and attention on a resolution will only cause more suffering. Wanting things to be different only increases our stress and discomfort.
This doesn’t mean not to notice what is disturbing; just that we don’t have to become disturbed to make a difference. In fact, research shows us that when we are calm and at peace in our bodies and minds we handle disturbing events much better. We may be living with a lot of uncertainty but this doesn’t have to translate into being uncertain or being worried and anxious. Just so, depressing news doesn’t have to mean we become depressed.
For me another way to frame uncertainty is that there are times in our individual and collective lives when we are between stories. We are in a gap. So, when this is so, let’s do our best not to fill the gap with Facebook posts, worries, overeating, or useless distractions. The new story will arise, and we will each be a part of its narrative.
“God is not limited by your lack of imagination.” –Guidance from my Al-Anon sponsor.