Honouring uncertainty

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August 17th 2007
Published: August 17th 2007
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The following phrase just landed in my inbox:

'Have you noticed how lacking clarity is clarity itself? How, if you aren't sure about something, that alone, has meaning? Honour uncertainty. It's the seed from which all-knowingness comes. Give it time.'

Yikes! I just love it when that type of synchronicity happens. That my life is uncertainty at the moment is an understatement. It really is probably just a case of 'leaving anxiety' and it reflects on some of the decisions I'm having to make right now. Decisiveness is not generally one of my strengths anyway, but it's just particularly intense at the moment, as there isn't that much time left until I leave.

However, I just had an interesting experience at the optician's when debating the type of glasses to take with me for the Himalayas. The lovely women there were so patient and helpful, and suggested a number of options I hadn't even thought of before, which reduced my confusion immensely and I actually left with a sense of clarity. So, what I'm finding more and more these days is that thorough research and talking to as many different people as possible makes all the difference - something that I don't often do properly as I get carried away on waves of enthusiasm and impatience!

Sometimes, or actually, mostly, it really is a good idea to leave something alone until the decision to act (or not to act) comes of its own accord, and I'm ready. I can go into a space of agonising so much about the 'what if's' that I don't see the wood for the trees, and am almost paralysed with the fear of making a decision. Yet, when something is right, and head and heart agree, then there's usually no question, it's either yes or no. This rather long-winded process only becomes problematic when you have a deadline or other people are involved! And, another thing is, that sometimes, when the energy just isn't flowing, it often means that the time simply isn't right yet, or that it isn't meant to be!

My lovely friend Tanya puts all of my uncertainty about little things down to control issues. I guess she has a point. It's not like I'm going on a holiday - I really have no idea whether or if I am coming back, and everything is very open-ended. I feel like I'm standing before a great big abyss, jumping into the unknown: leaving home, friends, perceived safety & security behind - it feels like nothing's ever going to be the same again. This does feel rather extreme for a recovering control freak like me, and hence I am acting out this anxiety on smaller, seemingly insignificant things (the great rucksack drama!). I suppose it's my way of dealing with the fear that comes with letting go of such a huge part of my life, and that's only normal. I'm trying very hard to be compassionate with that scared part of myself! And yes, I am terrified on some level, yet I also know that I can't truly 'settle' again (whatever that means) unless I go and do this. I've been settled for too long, and this journey is just taking it one step further. I'm hoping to experience what non-attachment and living a simple life really mean.

One thing worth keeping in mind is that none of these decisions are irreversible - whether they're big or small. I think the reason I can be shy of commitment sometimes is that I take commitment and decisions so seriously. Somehow I have this idea that once I've decided something, that's it - it's forever and I'll be doomed with that thing for the rest of my life, unable to get out of it. Even if it's only a rucksack! This is of course untrue, and a way to get around these blocks is to actually try certain things out - knowing that if they turn out to be not right, I can always change my mind and do something else.

The wondrous Donna Higton (http://www.donnaonthebeach.co.uk/) wrote a great article about this a while ago called 'Making the wrong decision'. I quote 'Aha. "The last thing you want to do is make a wrong decision" NO. The last thing you want to do is scare yourself into not making a decision just because you might make a mistake. Every single successful person in the world has buggered up at least once! How else can you learn? Even as a baby part of learning to walk is falling on your bum!

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