Peace in Uncertain Times: Part Two
Walking my dog yesterday evening, watching fireflies, I chatted with a seventeen-year-old about uncertainty. She talked about how hard it is to not know what's going to happen next, to be able to make plans with friends, get excited about doing things over the summer, returning to her high school campus for senior year. As time passes under these conditions, she said, she is starting to understand more that she can't control the externalities, and is focusing instead on managing her own energy. Then, using a friend's stressed-out mom as an example, she commented that some people are more comfortable with uncertainty than others. "Yes!" I exclaimed, and told that earlier in the day I'd written about that very concept, and how we all need to develop a relationship with uncertainty, sit with it together through awkward moments as if on a first date, stay engaged with it and interested in it even when we think we know it well. She liked the analogy but pointed out a flaw.
"But everyone is already in a relationship with uncertainty," she said, "we just don't admit it, or try to deny it or control it. For a lot of people it's a very toxic relationship."