Did this headline make you a bit wary?
I do not like uncertainty.
However, I am learning that there is no such thing as certainty. Except for death. Apparently!
It makes me nervous and curious and I know how I must remember that somehow I need to accept uncertainty.
I would have to say because I have grown very weary of trying to control what I cannot control…but thought I was! Is that familiar?
My journey (yep, I like the word and it stays!) has taken me on a number of learning paths as I seek help to understand life as I don’t know it!
One such person is Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, and her many books and teachings are in my library now.
I have this book beside my bed and read one chapter a night. Most nights anyway!
This excerpt is from chapter 14.
According to the Buddha, the lives of all beings are marked by three characteristics: impermanence, egolessness, and suffering or dissatisfaction. Recognising these qualities to be real and true in our own experience helps us to relax with things as they are.
The first mark is impermanence. That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and changing, is the first mark of existence. We don’t have to be mystics or physicists to know this. Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic fact.
It means life isn’t always going to go our way. It means there’s loss as well as gain. And we don’t like that.
We know that all is impermanent; we know that everything wears out. Although we can buy this truth intellectually, emotionally we have a deep-rooted aversion to it.
We want permanence; we expect permanence. Our natural tendency is to seek security; we believe we can find it. We experience impermanence at the everyday level as frustration. We use our daily activity as a shield against the fundamental ambiguity of our situation. expending tremendous energy trying to ward off impermance and death.
We don’t like it that we age. We are afraid of wrinkles and sagging skin. We use health products as if we actually believe our skin, our hair, our eyes and teeth, might somehow miraculously escape the truth of impermance.
The Buddhist teachings aspire to set us free from this limited way of relating to impermanence. They encourage us to relax gradually and wholeheartedly into the ordinary and obvious truth of change.
Acknowledging this truth doesnt mean we are looking on the dark side. What is means is that begin to understand that we’re not the only one who can’t keep it all together.
We no longer believed that there are people who have managed to avoid uncertainty.
Comfortable with Uncertainty. Pema Chodron. 2003. Shambhala Publications.
I am a life-long learner and I have been learning more lessons about life and me in the past few years than I ever felt possible. I have great respect for the words of Brene Brown and have signed up for this combo of courses on-line called Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. If you are interested in knowing more, here is the link.
Have you given much thought to what it is to be uncertain?
Do you struggle with the notion that we are not really in charge of many aspects of our lives as we might prefer to be?
I’d love to hear your comments.
Next week I am finally owning up to the vulnerability of telling my story. It won’t be confined to one post!
Joining with Leanne and friends here who are part of the inclusive and lovely link up Lovin’ Life.