I have been stuck. I have gone nuts from being stuck. I’ve set up camp in the land of confusion. I’ve prayed, begged, negotiated, and harangued for clarity. When uncertainty fills your every pore, the uncertainty isn’t the only thing that’s frightening. It’s when uncertainty arrives without an expiration date – you never know when the uninvited guest is packing up, checking out, and moving on.
If you’re asking yourself How am I going to make this relationship work? If you keep having the same internal conversation about your dating life, your marriage, (or even your job), if you can’t seem to shift into any gear other than “neutral” or “stall” or if you feel immobilized by uncertainty about what kind of relationship you want, when, and with whom . . . This blog post is for You.
So, what to do about it, you ask? First, repeat this mantra to yourself. Daily. “I must have chaos in my heart to give birth to stars.” Yah, I took a little liberty with Nietzsche on that one but what’s HE gonna do about it?
Anyway. A daily dose of Nietzsche-isms alone is not going to help you navigate through uncertainty about your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. What will help is first doing nothing. Then something. Followed by nothing again. Let me explain:
1. Accept that uncertainty – whether it’s the uncertainty of what you’re going to do this weekend or the uncertainty of whether you want to go out with that guy/gal you met online again – it’s just a part of making a great life. Uncertainty is unavoidable. Make peace with it. Danielle LaPorte wrote about this recently in her blog: “Whatever you do, do not run from confusion.” I Repeat: Whatever you do, do not run from confusion. Face it. Head on. With your gladiator sandals and steely-eyed gaze. Or with your smooshy-cushy beanbag pillow, lemon verbena sweet tea, and your patchouli incense. Whichever’s right for you. Just stay where you are. Don’t run.
2. Repetitively, like an obsessive-compulsive orthodox rubbing rosary beads, ask yourself these two questions (knowing they will be both comforting and challenging): Does this feel restricting? Does this feel liberating? Your ideas, insights, and feelings… Here’s the litmus test: Restricting? Or liberating? The which, the why, the when, the how. Again, the same litmus test: Restricting? Or liberating? Ask in the morning. Ask at night before you go to bed. Let your unconscious mind turn it over in your dream state. The dynamic of restriction vs. liberation…
And that’s how you get through the Jungle of Con-fyoo-zhun. As LaPorte says, “You weed whack restriction and you sniff for the scent of freedom.” No one can predict how long you’ll be on the path. But eventually, you will come to a clearing and the clouds will part and the angels will harmonize and it will all appear so suddenly, you might gasp when you turn the corner and look up and it seems so… duh, obvious! It’s not that clarity was hiding under a bushel or even under a bridge from you. You just needed to squeeze the juice from the fruit (ewww, messy!) to get to the seed in the center. (Again, LaPorte’s metaphor, but it was apt and delicious.)
If you don’t have a trusty juicer in your personal growth practice, try these techniques: Prune a task tree Read old diaries Make a mind map Take Shabbat from your sabbatical Create a calendar Visualize Plaster the wall with Post-its Breathe deep into a glass of wine Pimp out a day planner Lick a bar of dark chocolate Paint the visions described in your dream journal Call the members of your coven – reach out to your soul sisters and blood brothers Get poked – with needles (acupuncture), with pressure (massage), with tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique), with boxing . . . whatever stimulates your chakras, aligns your meridians and let’s the emotion flow.
Reporting on her own journey through uncertainty, LaPorte described the beauty she found in stopping. It’s the beauty of sifting and shifting — when things relax and release sometimes to the point of becoming unbalanced, unhinged. And unhinged is very, very disturbing. But essential. “Coming unhinged,” writes LaPorte, “is the passage way to innovation. Keep the faith and let yourself go crazy.”