Friday, July 31, 2015

The Path of Uncertainty

A great paradox of emotional health is that we must know when to accept our feelings and when to work toward moving out of them; through them. We must know when to lean into them, accept them, and cherish them. That does not mean that we do not seek to change painful emotions by altering cognitions that are causing us harm, but instead means that we must become comfortable enough with them to not run from them.

Anxiety, on a spiritual level, is about our deep "need" to predict outcomes, to know, and to even control, the future. In order to not be ruled by anxiety, we must learn to accept the fundamental uncertainly of life. We must bend into and even embrace the path of uncertainty.

Such lessons of course apply to the fabric of our lives, but are also key in helping us become more productive and joyful scholars. All we can control is our effort. Even the completion of a paper, a dissertation, a book, is unknown. We put in the effort, and come to trust that our efforts, day in, and day out, will lead to possible outcomes. We invest in good habits, build skills, work to resolve our psychosocial barriers and maximize our strengths, and let go of future results.

Stay in the process, each day, and learn to bend into the path of uncertainty.

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