Uncertainty (NaBloPoMo March 2012)

I’ve barely gotten used to writing 2012, and it’s already March! This year has gotten off to a slow start in the goals department, but I still have high hopes for achieving some long stirring dreams in 2012.

I am so excited that it’s March because I’m participating in my first ever NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) hosted by BlogHer. The rules are simple: blog at least once a day. One of my 2012 goals is to make writing a daily habit, and this is a great way to start.

Here’s the NaBloPoMo prompt for today, Thursday, March 1, 2012:

How do you feel about uncertainty? Is it exciting or scary?

This is a good one. A really good one. Uncertainty has been on my mind a lot lately, mostly because I’ve been dealing with high doses of uncertainty in all areas of my life. But then again, who doesn’t experience uncertainty on a daily basis? No one is immune to uncertainty in the best of times or the worst of times. Uncertainty is part of life, and it can be our friend or greatest enemy depending on how we look at it. Uncertainty has to do with our expectations of the future. Do we expect the future to be easy, full of abundance, and fulfillment, or do we expect difficulties and trouble?

I used to equate uncertainty with fear.

One time I was camping with my family in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains at our secret spot on the Stanislaus River. My daredevil cousins were amusing themselves by jumping off rocks into a deep area, and had convinced me to try it too. What was fun and games to them was absolutely terrifying to me because I am scared to death of heights. I stood there on the rocks for over 30 minutes, debating my jump and all the possible outcomes, paralyzed with fear while my younger cousins jumped circles around me. This is what uncertainty felt like to me for so many years: fear of the unknown.

Now uncertainty means possibility. 

I still don’t know the future. The difference is, I’ve consciously decided to change my definition of uncertainty. I’ve realized that the only moment that matters is now (as any spiritual text will tell you). Whenever I have a “what if” moment when fear starts to creep in, my awareness of the fear reduces its power.

I did eventually jump into the river. The rocks were (embarrassingly) only about 6 feet from the river, but still. I had a real sensation of petrifying vertigo even at that height. When I finally jumped it was thrilling. The river water was icy cold from snow runoff, and it brought me straight into the present moment.

Whether uncertainty is our friend or enemy comes down to a choice between love and fear. It’s as simple as being grateful in the present moment, while expecting continued blessings in the future. Where there is love, there is no fear. This, I remind myself daily.

There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear. John 4:18

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

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