There are two forces I am very present to this week. Patience and Uncertainty.
I think the easiest and maybe the worst thing to do in this situation is to look backwards. To turn around and say: “That is my past and it was good and comfortable. I should put my hope in that reoccuring.” This I have found just sets me up for totally missing the point. I lose my openness to a plan that is not mine, and become disappointed as the present and future hardly ever match up with my fantasies of the past.
When I discover myself doing this- hoping for things to be where they were, I really need to shake myself. To remember I am committed to following God and the future he has in store for me. To be ok and willing to sit in the face of uncertainty. To Admit to myself: “I currently do not know where the future is leading me.” I can pray for and dream of certain outcomes and futures: such as wanting to have a flourishing career, the opportunity to make the difference in the lives of others, an unwavering romance. I can set goals such as prepping to go to grad school and continue to work hard at the things I am committed to now such as World Bridge. But I start to lose myself as soon as I say: “God, I want the future and I want it this specific way.” And ultimately I have to let go of the certainty that just because I dream and plan does not mean I am in control or have any sense of security in the outcome. And in fact I need to be open to my plan shifting, being affected by forces bigger than myself. I can really only trust and have security in the fact that there is a brighter future ahead of me. Here is a quote I have written in the front of my small journal I carry with me everywhere which speaks to the above:
“We must let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” –Joseph Campbell
So here I am left with the questions of how long am I patient and waiting? How do I balance being proactive and receptive to something new? First is admitting I do not have the answers. Then maybe the appropriate response is that of Active Listening and Open-minded searching. My new approach to patience and uncertainty is something akin to the yoga practice I have partaken in recently. In yoga, as I flow from one posture to the other, the instructor shared that it is not about how someone preforms the final stance, but rather how gracefully they transition from one to the next. Therefore, my new mindset is to ‘flow’ through life in partnership with God. Pausing when necessary, transitioning as gracefully as possible- minimizing the struggle and panic.
Another Yoga lesson unlocks how to approach life with flow, faith and patience. The lesson distinguishes the difference between reacting and responding to life and general circumstances.
Rainer Maria Rilke