I am finding these to be very challenging times as of late, even though things seem to returning to something more recognizable, for the moment anyway. There is still so much liminality in the world, so much that is undefinable and ineffable, as we continue to navigate the pandemic, the Ukrainian war, the changing climate, the ongoing oppression of others.
The world can feel like it is unraveling at times, and me along with it.
These are the times when I am most vulnerable to some form of distorted storytelling. The brain is a meaning making organ, after all. It has any number of creative ways to develop narratives that help me think that I know what’s happening.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are designed to look for and rely on some kind of model for our experience, especially when it feels threatening, or sufficiently outside of our ordinary experience of reality for us to know how to respond. Our central nervous systems do not do well with the unknown.
When I find myself in these spaces of confusion, when I feel the footing beneath me shifting, I try to make it a practice to slow down and acknowledge my vulnerability to a story that shores up my ego, or reduces the complexity of the situation to something more digestible, but incomplete.
Here is the invitation to humility. Holding our understanding lightly in open hands, makes room for new information, or a shift in perception or perspective, and gives us space for compassion as well - for ourselves and for others.
It is okay not to know. Confusion feels uncomfortable, so we tend to breeze past it. Perhaps we might try welcoming the unknown and undefined, the generative befuddlement that always precedes understanding? There are lessons here too.
Blessings on your journey,