“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom
Since my first podcast launched a few weeks ago, I have received many emails from people discussing their anxieties and worries about current events. Their concerns included fear of more mass shootings, losing their healthcare, or possible war with North Korea. Many of us can understand how these people feel and many of us have similar concerns. These types of events can make us feel vulnerable and it can be difficult to calm our fears and worries when we are bombarded constantly with upsetting news. In response to these emails, episode 4 of my podcast addresses how we can alleviate our fears about these and other world events by embracing uncertainty as a place of hope and refuge.
Now, I am guessing that some of you are now thinking to yourself how is that possible? How can uncertainty be something good in my life and make me feel better? Well, there are two aspects of daily suffering: the first is an experience in the moment that we find painful, which we will call present suffering; and the second is our projection of what this moment means for the future, which we will call projected suffering. Is there a way not to have any suffering in our lives? I certainly have not experienced this, but Jiddu Krishnamurti, a brilliant philosopher, said his secret to a happy life was that he didn’t mind what happened. It makes total sense that if we don’t mind what is happening we would have no present suffering or projected suffering. I do think we can reduce our overall suffering through acceptance and other techniques, but it is hard not to mind everything that happens in our lives. It is particularly difficult when people we love are suffering and there are things like war, famine, and global warming. However, what we can focus on in this moment is to stop our projected suffering which is a big part of our stress and worry.
The truth is that we don’t suffer because life is uncertain. We experience projected suffering because we think we know what will happen next in our lives based on what is happening today. The good news is that we have no idea what will happen next and this leaves us open not solely to doom and gloom, but to other possibilities as well. Embracing uncertainty can actually be our best friend and provide us with the hope that we can still make the world a better place.
Click here to listen to this podcast and find out how to embrace uncertainty to reduce your suffering and remain strong and resilient in the days to come.