The title alone seems to be a contradiction in terms. As I write this the most I can muster up is to simply “allow” impermanence which is a joke I know since I’m not in a place of power to allow or not allow anything right now. I liken it to getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Let the good times roll.
We all have needs. One for sure that most are seeking is some sense of certainty. It’s natural and normal to want to be able to depend on things in our lives. Another one of our needs is actually uncertainty too. That’s why we like surprises, novelty, and spontaneity.
These two needs, depending on the individual, often fall into a specifically desired ratio. Some people tolerate or outright prefer high amounts of uncertainty where another leans towards more certainty.
An imbalance of these two needs can be metabolized for a while depending on a persons resilience. Sustained imbalance at some point will begin to turn into struggle and/or trauma.
Are you following along?
How many of you are feeling that your level of uncertainty has reached its upper limit? If you’re feeling like you’re uncertain about how long the uncertainty in your life is going to last I welcome you to the club.
Our lives have been turned upside down in countless ways. Some small and some gigantic but I think I can say no one is immune to the impacts of uncertainty right now.
If you’re like me you’ve reverberated back and forth seeking for things to normalize, to become something familiar, and be more certain again.
What I’ll offer you is this simple paradox that James Stockdale faced and felt in order to make it through times of horrific struggle with an ambiguous end point.
Admiral James Stockdale was a POW for over seven years during the Vietnam War. He was interviewed and asked,”how on earth did he deal with it…?”
When Jim Collins asked that very question directly to Stockdale, he replied, “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”
Collins followed with another question: “Who didn’t make it out?”
“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart….
This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose —with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
If I can appeal to you at this point to find the place in yourself where you’re strong and know that you’ve got this and you’re going to be fine.
How is your self care routine?
What can be added to your regime to put some soul dollars back in the bank?
What can you take off your plate to relieve yourself of some stress?
Thanks for your time, have a great day!