I haven’t had enough ‘good’ sleep this past week. Reasons are obvious I suppose, it is likely that all of us are experiencing some type of anxiety or stress right now.
It’s an unprecedented time as everyone keeps saying — an uncertain future ahead.
As someone who continues to pursue creativity as a career, I have grown somewhat what accustomed to uncertainty; my days (years, rather) being a freelancer and entrepreneur have taught me so much about dealing with instability and insecurity, whether financial or otherwise.
The economic downturns we are living through and have yet to live through, are a frightening thought — I’m heartbroken each time I hear about a business closing its doors and people being laid off amidst this pandemic; as I preempt the ripple effect it will have on families and livelihoods, individuals and communities.
My relationship with uncertainty, whilst something I have learned to accept for myself over time, is now being challenged in new ways.
The fear of uncertainty via the experiences and perspectives of those we see on the news and social media is overwhelming. Perhaps for some of us in fact, inescapable — if we are the ones working on the frontlines or closely connected to those who are.
I mentioned in my previous post, my concerns about becoming enslaved to such fear and though I always strive to be optimistic, it is incredibly difficult these days to carry on without feeling even just a little bit afraid.
Because whilst we have all survived the little uncertainties of life in our own little corners of the world, we are now living through a new pandemic — one that is greatly impacting everyone everywhere; not discriminating any gender, race, social class or industry.
There is data and numbers and research, but there is still so much that is unknown, so much that evades even our highest authorities, the people with the power and money and influence.
And it is this collective uncertainty and the fear of it, that is rippling through our households and communities, and significantly so, our own individual minds and souls.
As an innate problem-solver, I have had to come to terms with the recent realisation that there is no clear antidote to uncertainty, though I’ve convinced myself plenty on the occasions where I’ve really needed one.
The truth is, what is undeniably certain, is uncertainty itself.
In the world that we live in, that is a scary thing. Because as we’ve evolved in our intelligence, with all of our research and resources, we’ve also developed some kind of entitlement in knowing everything there is to know.
We’ve assumed a power to control everything that happens around us, to cast judgement and blame when problems arise, to analyse and stipulate and draw conclusions to why things have happened or what is bound happen.
I’ve realised that involving myself in such activities doesn’t actually ease my fears nor cause the uncertainty to dissipate. If anything, they provide temporary relief, enabling me to feel in control for just a minute, because ‘I read it in the news’ or ‘these are the statistics’ or ‘people are saying so.’
What I am learning to understand is that if there is to be some kind of antidote for uncertainty, the closest thing we have is faith.
If you believe in a higher power like I do, you’ll know that it is through faith we can better manage our fear and navigate uncertain times. If you don’t, I can only encourage you to find something similar to hold onto because amidst all of the unknown, there is a certain comfort available — one that I believe only a supernatural spirit can provide.
This isn’t to say that I am in perfect alignment with the God I choose to believe in (nobody is), but I am recognising more and more each day how much I need God as a nourisher, healer and friend to guide me through all of this uncertainty.
Contrary to the common understanding, faith isn’t some sort of magic pill or magic wand that makes all of our problems go away, rather it is (for me a least), a light that helps me see in the darkest nights and a raft keeping me afloat the deepest waters.
Faith is the only certain thing I have right now.
Knowing and accepting that God is working in my life even when I don’t always see or feel Him, always helps lift me out of the depths of fear.
Even just a little faith can be enough, faith that we may not fully understand nor practice, but faith that we choose to accept into our lives, humbling ourselves enough to relinquish the control that we’ve become so used to having.
I can tell you from experience, that in such surrender, there is a relief. There is a way to find calm, to breathe, to connect with matters of the heart.
Instead of being overwhelmed with knowledge and fear, faith overwhelms with love and hope.
Perhaps not exactly an antidote to uncertainty, but what I know for sure is that faith is a steady anchor, no matter the size of the waves, the direction of the wind, or how much we carry on board.
Not one of us is in control of everything that is happening in the world (we’re not meant to be) and each of us is struggling and being challenged in many different ways.
It’s okay that we’re a little scared and that we’re hurting but it isn’t up to us have a certain answer to every problem. Rather, we’re each called to contribute in the ways we know how, the ways that we can.
In this collective uncertainty, we have individual responsibility.
In this unprecedented chapter, we have new opportunity.
And in this dark unknown, may we all have a little faith.
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. — Matthew 17:20