Understanding Uncertainty

As if I could understand the state of Uncertainty. I do understand how I feel when I am unsure, or when I don’t know anything. Or even what to do next.

What I’ve been learning during the past year’s intensive healing and growth is that not knowing is no big deal. This is diametrically opposed to how I have been living most of my life. The driving demanding need to know what that sound is or what has happened and why has caused so many problems in my life. I just need to know what is going on and what I have to do about it. I have to know what others need me to do. I want to know what is expected of me.

There is safety in this. No surprises. As a child I spent most of my day trying to figure out my mother’s mood, or my dad’s and then all the other people in my life-brothers, neighbor kids and fellow students and teachers.

I exhausted myself with learning what was expected of me. I was overloaded with data and everyone else’s needs.

I wanted to know what I needed to do to make them happy and then my life would be safe and secure and I could relax.

As an adult, then, uncertainty meant I was always struggling to figure out what I should be doing. Control was my friend. My life. My goal.

Now, I have gotten more comfortable with not knowing. I have more experience with that, too. And I have a nice easy coping tool.

Prayer. Acceptance. Letting go of fear. Letting go of my illusion of control. The world is so exciting and now not knowing frees me.

Still, though, I don’t know that I understand uncertainty. I do embrace it.

And yet, not knowing how can drive me crazy.

I am uncertain about this. :-)

Dennis Lindley, Understanding Uncertainty (2006)

"There are some things that you know to be true, and others that you know to be false; yet, despite this extensive knowledge that you have, there remain many things whose truth or falsity is not known to you. We say that you are uncertain about them. You are uncertain, to varying degrees, about everything in the future; much of the past is hidden from you; and there is a lot of the present about which you do not have full information. Uncertainty is everywhere and you cannot escape from it.

What is not fun, should not be done--What one relishes one nourishes.

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