On the Lookout

Excerpt from Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life by Irwin Kula:

What if we understood that all decisions, even the seeming sure things, are leaps into the unknown? What if we were galvanized, rather than paralyzed, by uncertainty? It could be that our very denial about how unsure we really are in fact causes the most anxiety of all. We mistake ambivalence for weakness, indecisiveness for failing. We try to convince ourselves that the future should be ours to see and that there’s actually a discernable and consistent cause and effect to our decisions and actions.  Depression, obsessiveness, even paranoia have at their roots a profound fear of the unknown and usually a wound from the past, a trauma lodged in our unconscious that we’re afraid will reoccur. These are extreme reactions to the dread that it could all work out for the worst, that if we’re not on the lookout, hypervigilant, or hiding behind the veil of disassociation, disaster awaits us. Extreme anxiety short-circuits life.

Yet if we’re really honest with ourselves when we look back on our lives, we can see that all our decisions, large and small, were made from a place of uncertainty and sometimes profound conflict...Our journey presents us with catastrophes, traumas, losses, gains, wonders, and miracles. And in the end we must act on faith, not that it will all work out as we want but that our best guess is good enough, that it will somehow lead us to a place of discovery, of new perspective, of a wider self.