Radical Uncertainty

In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, I have been using all of the tools at my disposal to remain sane and vertical, healthy and vibrant. I am self-quarantining with the exception of going to my office to see clients. Through the marvels of modern technology, I can now use a telehealth platform called doxy.me to ‘see’ them without the need for them to come in. A protective method for all of us. It didn’t seem to lose anything in translation and it was the next best thing to sitting in the same room.

On the occasion when I have left the comfortable confines of my home, I have noticed the blossoming trees and blooming crocuses lifting their shoots toward the sun. Weird weather (in the 70s) yesterday when a year ago, I think, it was snowing. Mama Nature is doing what she always does, bringing forth new life when we might have believed it was all over. Today I will go out and walk someplace beautiful. I need beauty right about now and I imagine you do too.

Never in my 61 years have I noted such a surrealistic moment after moment after moment. In the previous six decades, I have experienced deaths of loved ones, job changes, financial crises, and health challenges. We lost our house in Homestead, Florida in 1992 in Hurricane Andrew.

I have always believed the adage, “This too shall pass.” I was able to pull certainty out of the pit of despair, KNOWING that all was for the Highest Good. Now, it takes almost Herculean effort to imagine a better world.

Two years ago, I had a portentous dream:

Woke up from a holy shit, what is going on in MY psyche? dream. I was on a ship that was sinking, although not like the Titanic in one fell swoop, but over time. The people were from all over the world. I knew some and others were strangers. We couldn’t get off the floating village. I was doing my taking care of others thang that I usually do in my daily life. I kept hearing the song White Flag by Dido as the soundscape throughout which made me chuckle. If you don’t know it, listen to the lyrics and you’ll understand why. I saw two couples get married and healing take place in a family I knew. The father had died a few years ago and he had been abusive to them. In the dream, he expressed sorrow for his actions and asked for their forgiveness and told them how much he appreciated them.

People were also setting up shop and selling their wares on board.

In another part of the dream, I was running on top of the water and singing about being loved.

One question that kept coming to me, was that if we were not out at sea, how come no one came to rescue us? No one could answer why. I got the feeling that we needed to save ourselves.

All around me, people are sharing their fears and worries and yet, no one I know is giving up hope, including those who have had loved ones become ill and some who have lost family members as a result. When I have encountered people in the supermarket, we have smiled knowingly and wished each other good health. No one was rude. I saw no one in hoarding mode. There were plenty of empty shelves, bereft of staples, but, being a more health-conscious consumer, I was glad to see that the aisles that contained organic and ‘natural’ products were well stocked.

Even while focusing on what positive elements I can see, (stories about nature rejuvenating itself, pollution diminishing, water clearing, people cooperating and helping each other) I still find myself succumbing to despair and want to huddle under the covers until this all over.

Yesterday, I did what I would advise my clients to do; seek support. I called two friends who I knew would help me ground myself so that I could function and so that I could use my therapeutic skills, unfettered, with my clients.

Both offered the same guidance, just using different words. Both were reassuring and reminded me that all eventually works out; perhaps not as we anticipated, sometimes better than we expected. Both are grounded professionals in health-related fields, academics, and spirituality. One, in particular, is my sanity go-to person who has always found a way to increase my hope quotient.

Last night, I listened to an hour-long teaching/meditation with spiritual teacher and author, Sally Kempton.

At the onset of the call, she said that there were 500 people listening in. Not sure how many, but I would venture a guess that there was a substantial increase by the end of the 60 minutes. Imagine that number of folks consciously sending love and light and healing to the planet. Sally spoke of the concept of radical uncertainty. Even under ‘normal’ circumstances, none of us knows what will occur. My father used to say, “You never know what tomorrow brings.” For me, radical uncertainty in the face of world events (even beyond the virus) means embracing every moment. Although the Serenity Prayer “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference,” has been my mainstay for decades, I have tended to veer over to wanting to change what I can not accept. These days, I am in the first camp. I can’t control the virus itself. I can’t control how other people handle it. I can only take charge of my actions and attitude.

“To be hopeful means to be uncertain about the future, to be tender toward possibilities, to be dedicated to change all the way down to the bottom of your heart.”-Rebecca Solnit

Stay healthy. The world needs you.

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