Dealing With Life When it Becomes Uncertain
“The road to disappointment is paved with glittering platitudes;
laid by trailblazers fooled by the promise of an easy answer.”
In the next day or two, I hope to finally finish our 3rd update—in 12 years—of the Love Safety Net Workbook.
This update number is comparatively small when considering the 12 updates Back From the Looking Glass has been subject to.
To say I am excited to see this work finished is an understatement!
We are also still working on our new line of audio products.
In the meantime, life’s tennis court has been sending a constant stream of fast serves and smashes.
Each night I fall asleep saying I will get this and that done tomorrow, only to fall in bed each evening—exhausted—after dealing with yet another day of unexpected high priorities.
This has progressed to the point where I have developed an irrational terror of facing my online support group—which I have neglected for most of this year.
Thank heavens everyone in it is so gifted at supporting each other!
I hope I will be welcomed back with understanding when I get this update finished :)
Besides Steve’s health challenges, we have had to deal with our management contract at the motel being terminated 4 days before this Christmas coming. For trumped-up reasons which boil down to the owners trying to steal our sweat equity and goodwill here.
‘Practicing what we preach’, means that we have in turn stood up for ourselves :)
This has resulted in continued threats, alongside numerous offers and opportunities, including new and colourful people presenting themselves that are interested in buying the motel and keeping us on here.
Our life presently has zero dull moments.
Until I get the Love Safety Net Workbook update finished, I want to jot down a few useful tips that I have learned of late to deal with life when it becomes uncertain:
Dealing With Life When it Becomes Uncertain
1. Stand up for yourself intelligently with a measured response
This doesn’t mean mouthing off or taking any set course emotionally that could be written down as glib advice. For instance, sometimes anger may be useful and appropriate and sometimes it may not.
The only sure thing is – “If you haven’t practised a response so many times that you know it to be a winning move, don’t rush in and try it for the first time on the ‘battlefield’. If it is a move that has failed you in the past be even more cautious.”
This means that if you are not a veteran to the type of uncertainty you are facing, move extra slow making decisions. The more urgent the matter appears—unless you are behind in your rent!—the more likely you could be stepping into a trap set for you by someone not working in your best interests. Buy time by sticking to your principles of what is right for you.
In the classic novel Siddhartha – the ‘master’ teaches that the 3 most important skills to learn in life are; a. to wait, b. to fast and c. to meditate. The irony is that to an onlooker, of course, all of these skills must appear to amount to doing nothing.
If you can figure out how powerful this type of ‘doing nothing’ can be in defending yourself, you are ready to find a way off the road to disappointment finally.
If you need a hint, think of all the things that you normally do, say or eat—when you are challenged—that interfere with a more positive path forward.
2. Honour your emotions by reflecting on their meaning
Did someone’s tone of voice offend you recently? Instead of acting on that emotion in the moment, or telling yourself to forget it: instead, reflect on that situation deeply the next time you take time out for yourself.
Empathy in these moments is important. What do you think might be going on it that person’s world that might have caused them to speak to you in the way that they did? Was it personal or do they have an agenda that you may not be considering?
Our emotions are extremely valuable signals that we may be missing something about somebody that could have a big impact on our lives.
It is worth taking time to calmly and deeply consider words that trigger our emotions.
WARNING: Make sure that you don’t reflect on this when you are still angry. Make a note and calm down first even if it takes a day or two.
3. Practice controlled negative thinking
A great trick to help overcome worry…
Imagine losing things you hold dear while you are in a safe and controlled setting. For instance, everyone we know—including ourselves—will die one day. What would that look like in your life and how might you manage it?
Even imagine attending your own funeral!
If this is too much, start with material things like your home, your job and your possessions. How would you manage without these?
Be as realistic and specific as you can in your mind when you do this.
You might be amazed at how much it will help you learn to love and appreciate what you have right now.
4. Review your expectations
Is what you are hoping for really what you need? After practising point 3 make a clear list of what is really important to you.
How has it changed from what you were chasing after in your mind previously?
Are there situations that come up in your life that make you forget this list?
Set up rules and reminders for yourself to be wary in these situations!
Our goals and rewards in life will always be subject to uncertainty. Being prepared for loss—with an eye on what is truly important in our lives—will help in those times to prevent us throwing caution to the wind and neglecting what we really should have been protecting as most dear to us.
This is all too easy to do in the heat of a moment that causes us uncertainty.
Greener pastures need surveying in clear-headed daylight hours.
Boring? Maybe. But not as boring as where the road to disappointment will surely lead you.
If you live a very long and successful life you are going to see a vast number of people die.
I wonder what you will have valued and learned from them?
I heard it said once that the only thing we take with us is the character we built in this life.
I find that a single piece of useful advice to consider when facing uncertainty.
This Post Has 9 Comments
Excellent article. Extremely articulate and timely. I’m going to print the points out so I can refer to them.
We appreciate you and Steve so much! We are so proud of you! Thank you for your continued model of faithfulness to all you teach and your humility to acknowledge it is not easy for anyone.
We are your tribe, thank you for sharing with us your wisdom as well as your struggles. Thank you for your commitment to real values that are often professed but seldom truly valued in this crazy world.
not a lot of time, at present, but glad for update,… “rolling with the waves” comes to mind,… also patience, longsuffering, hope, optimism, “hanging in there”, and grace,… love the Siddartha quotes,…”life itself” is a very awesome proposition, and “finding our way” in it, is of necessity humbling and challenging,… praying never gets old,…
I value you all so much. Unless the sky caves in, today I am finishing the workbook update!
Thank you for a beautifully-inspiring piece of writing. I have lived a long life and have seen many close friends and family members die. I’ve never deeply thought of what I valued and learned from each and every one of them. This will be my current endeavor!
You continue to inspire and encourage, even THROUGH your life challenges. Thank you, Kim <3
Excellent article! Thank you, Kim!
Some people actually WANT us to get angry. Deliberately provoke us. Then if we get angry, they know which buttons to press in the future.
So I always try and give a measured response. Those that want us to get angry hate this because they can’t then hide behind a messy argument. They have to face a calm measured response to what that they’ve said.
Thank you for your information.