Embrace Uncertainty

Uncertainty is inevitable. It’s a rule of life or a simple law of nature. This law is not a comfortable truth but it is a necessary truth. Everything changes and nothing stays the same. And, the tighter we old on to the past, the more difficult it is to embrace the future.

People who can understand this idea are resilient, they learn to adapt to different situations. Those of us who ignore it or refuse to accept it become fearful and unhappy. We all deserve to be resilient. Resilience has become a new buzz word. The definition of resilience is tending to recover from or adjust easily to change or misfortune.

I have not felt in control of my life for some time. It’s been many years since I’ve felt certain of what is to come. However, this coronavirus has brought me to my wits end. Everyone has vague ideas about the future. Yet, I could have never imagined the reality we are all living in. People forced to distance from loved ones, wearing a mask in the grocery stores while walking around looking like aliens without a face! Then, there’s the incessant hand washing and cleaning. As of today, it’s been 66 days since I’ve been able to touch another human being. I live alone and have self quarantined for fear of exposure to the deadly virus. Let me tell you, it’s terrible. However, I do have the necessities. I also have a choice in how I react and perceive this situation.

I have lived with chronic illness and various losses which has taught me to embrace the issue or uncertainty. I’ve become more resilient and loving. I’ve had to face challenges and the emotions that go with it. I could have never predicted my illness but I have lived my life to the best of my ability. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent plenty of time on the pity pot. Instead, I’ve chosen to rise above and live the best life within my limitations. I became resilient. It is my story. My life. I will write my own chapters. And, I will tell my own story and how it will end.

I try not to set expectations. You see, if I expect nothing and something good happens it’s absolutely wonderful. It’s better than the flip side of that scenario, expecting something good but it doesn’t come to fruition then it’s pure disappointment. At the center of this is new understanding is perception. Uncertainty itself didn’t cause my fear or unhappiness, it is how I respond to it. My need for control. My attempts to rearrange reality to fit my story and how I want it to be help me survive. Doesn’t everybody want a happy ending?

Right now, there are thousands of us that have had our stories challenged and changed. This virus has changed our lives including lifestyles. There are many that have been directly affected by the virus; those that have been infected and those that have lost loved ones. Some have lost their jobs and others are locked away in preventative measure. All of us have experienced a loss of freedom. There’s a loss of identity too. Of course, there’s anxiety about the future. In this case, adapting to new circumstances is a necessity. By developing resilience, we can create new stories. These stories have some new unplanned chapters. Let me add, your fear and anxiety surrounding the coronavirus is absolutely justified, especially those who have experienced significant life changes.

Any intentions to become more resilient are noble, not only are you helping yourself stay calm but you’re helping those around you, too. Affirmations can help us ride out the wave of loss and uncertainty. They’re mere suggestions that can work for anyone and you can use them every day if you choose. Don’t let old ideas that no longer serve you hold you back from peace and happiness. After all, whether we resist it or not there’s a pandemic to deal with. I guess you might call it developing resilience.

Approach one day at a time.
Deal with uncertainty one step at a time. If the mountain is to tall to climb all at once, take it in tiny steps. Take each moment as it comes. Keep an open mind for whatever the days ahead may bring. Make the best of what happens instead of dwelling on the worst scenario of what could happen. When we approach life with an open mind, we won’t get stuck in chasing old stories or unmet ideas about what should be happening.

Set flexible goals.
Setting goals works because it gives us direction. It helps keep our minds focused and keeps us motivated. Give yourself rewards when your goal is accomplished. Goals are set to guide us toward something we aspire to. They can be in relation to environment and/or circumstances. Be prepared for your environment and/or circumstances to change then adjust accordingly. Have a plan A and a plan B, maybe even a plan C. Right now, everyone has situations that have shifted so don’t torture yourself by trying to meet the same goals you had from before corona. We don’t have the same circumstances as before so start setting new goals that are within the current reality. It must reasonable to accomplish within your limitations, physically and mentally.

Be Still
Sometimes setting no goal at all is the best option. To live simply and be in the moment. Embrace the pause from life as we knew it. At first, the stillness might be overwhelming. However, with time our minds adjust. There’s an awareness of your environment that develops. The more we slow down, the calmer we become, and the more we can observe and learn to appreciate. If you’re able to spend time resting in silence it begins to balance our emotions. We move from fight-or-flight mode to calm and resilient. It helps us respond effectively to life’s challenges. Let me add, silence is not for everyone. Someone with an  overactive mind could think things that aren’t really true or become overwrought with too many scenarios. This might cause them to get overwhelmed or exhausted. When that happens they might lose their temper, show less compassion, and think or say things we don’t really mean.

Have faith 
No doubt uncertainty is scary. Let faith replace your fear. Whatever deity you choose to believe in pray for help to meet the challenges each day brings. This can correlate with meditation and just being still.

Control thoughts.
The oppressive media coverage that is unending can wreak havoc on our minds. If we can reduce the amount of time and energy spent obsessing, we can focus our attention on all the possibilities. There will be good days ahead. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives have not been written yet. Better days are ahead!

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” –Lao Tzu     

Peace ☮️

Michele Palermo

Michele is a retired registered nurse who spent 15 years in Emergency Medicine. That's where she learned there's a fragility to life. Diagnosed with lupus, after going through a divorce, taught her to be a survivor instead of a victim. With her career shortened by illness she turned to books. She fell in love with the written word as a young child. To her, words convey emotion. Her new passion is writing. As an aspiring author, she hopes to inspire others on this roller coaster called life.

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