Here we are dear people, smack dab in the middle of a rushing stream of change and uncertainty. It’s hot and this stream isn’t cooling anything down very fast… at least the part I’m standing in. How’s it feel where you are? I’m not wonky about change like some people are. I know we can’t really appreciate pleasure without pain, or success without failure. We appreciate the light because we know the darkness. Like Yin and Yang, we need opposites. I’m good with that. So why is this uncertainty now any different?
Well, it swooped in and caught us off guard for one thing. Then we were led to believe it would be here a short time and then be gone. Oops. That fake news threw a lot of people. Now we have that sorted out and know to listen to the scientists and not some bubba or yahoo.
And now, hasn’t some change become the new normal? Give yourself some credit. A few months ago, we would have avoided someone wearing a mask. Now it is normal. We didn’t have to wait in line to go into a store and now sometimes we do. So, we allow a bit more time. We might have to wait longer for a seat in our favorite restaurant or settle for take-out. Haven’t we pretty much adjusted to all of that day-to-day stuff?
I bet those of you with pets still take them out for walks. And the vets are still working although mine comes out to the car to pick up the pets and then bring them back. Works for me!
I’m a big fan of the library so now I am using my Libby app connected to my library card all the time. Convenient, shows up on my Kindle and I am a happy person. And I could list a lot more situations where I have accepted changes. But there is still this roaring thunder of discontent, animosity and stupidity swirling around. WTF is that about?
Well maybe we are so entitled that we feel we should like and be comfortable with uncertainty. Now wouldn’t that be dorey hunkey? Too bad. Too damn bad. Maybe we outta, sorta, jump on the do-something-different bandwagon as it drives by.
We could stand out in the street- six feet apart – and embrace whatever gets thrown at us whenever we feel anxious or uncomfortable. Yes, your brain wants you to get the hell out of there. That’s the natural reaction. But we’re way better than that reptilian brain, aren’t we?
We could learn to reframe uncertainty and get really curious about what is going on and why we keep pushing back. Think about the times you have had a huge growth leap in your life. I bet that was a time when you experienced a shit load of uncertainty. How did you do that? Are there similarities to what is going on now?
Try becoming hyper-aware of what you are telling yourself. Is the story true? Did you make some of it up? How do you know it is true? Fear of change is based on the real and imagined stories we tell ourselves. Yes, our brain does prefer a predictable, negative outcome over a certain one (in this case, uncertainty). But guess what? Our mind is flexible and adaptive, and we can train it to thrive and look forward to change.
Now is the time to access your personal grit, your courage to take on what is necessary to move forward, your strength to help those who are counting on you (including yourself) and your compassion for those still struggling. Be a role model.
I recently ran across this old quote from Alan Watts – “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” I am doing the tango, the foxtrot, the swing, the cha cha cha and even a little belly dancing and damn, if it isn’t a lot of fun. The music is great too.