“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” -Vincent Van Gogh
Uncertainty is getting the better of me these days. Much of the world feels out of control as I glance through the news. Between cresting rivers, freak tropical storms and impending earthquakes, you would think we humans would apply ourselves to repairing and preparing for the earth’s changing consequences. We have too many of our own consequences that keep us spinning. Economic crises of all proportions dominate our sense of insecurity. In my own business I decide between the difficult and untenable every day.
We are not trained well in the truth that uncertainty is one of the fundamental energies of life. Ursula Le Guin wrote: “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” This is the flame that drives the height of our creativity and keeps life interesting. Living with grace through insecurity is the real dance in life and our practice or lack of it has far reaching consequences. The alternative to being consumed with insecurity is not actually finding security as much as it is a desire to create it.
Writing is one way that I create a world of order and security. As my writing has been replaced with all the trying to manage other concerns, the trying consumes me and I am swirling in the soup of uncertainty. Acting out of our own creativity is the organizing principle of the world. All of the trying activities in the world do not measure up to the power of our own vision. This is why creative people get more done in life, because the physical and material world steps up to their vision, which is the opposite energy of trying to make something happen out of a drive to secure.
This is a lesson I have to keep re-learning. Our drive to know it is all going to be OK is innate- a socially acceptable form of our survival mechanism. It’s OK to have this along as a passenger in life, the problem is when we let her drive, usually it ends up driving me deeper into insecurity. When I get lost in trying to make it all work, I forget about the gratitude of what is working and I don’t see the love that is.
Another powerful way to rethink uncertainty is through service. I am in the process of enlarging my Positivity Circle, which is a group I have been nurturing recently to explore and celebrate the power of positive community. I am working on creating a club at our local high school to enlarge this vision and am excited to witness how creating a beautiful space out of an old rundown court yard will transform all of us. When I focus on making the world more loving and on being grateful for how much there is to work with, the uncertainty is the fuel.