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My late sister’s lessons about uncertainty.

Uncertainty can be your friend as it can help you live a more present life.

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Uncertainty is all the is. Swallow this true, uncertainty is a natural part of life. We can know that something will happen, but we can’t know when or how. We fool ourselves that we have some control about outcomes and we play God by predicting results.

Life is a complex mechanism, and the irony is that the only certain thing in life we want to ignore.

I learned about living in uncertainty when I was very young to even understand what that meant. In a week from now, it will be the 11th anniversary of my sister passing away.

You see, we all know that someday we are going to die, but we don’t know when or how. We believe that we’ll live a long great life and the fact that the only certainty we have is that we eventually are going to die, is a fact that we don’t want to look at in the face.

It was different for me. When my sister was born she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and she was given a very short time to live. It could be one year, ten or twenty. We had a certainty that it was going to happen before we wished it to happen. And I hated to be certain about that.

My lessons to cope with uncertainty.

My sister taught me that the only way to deal with uncertainty is to ignore the facts of what is going to happen and to concentrate my efforts in the things that matter most for me today and most importantly, the things I can do something about.

  • FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: normally is your mind, your thoughts, your responses.
  • CREATE MEANING IN YOUR LIFE: If you are focused on things you love you care less about controlling them.
  • LIVE IN THE MOMENT: Be present, be mindful, enjoy what you have now.
  • PRACTICE APPRECIATION: Appreciating small things is a way of grounding yourself and stay focused on the good that is already here.

Life is short for all of us, and we waste way too much time trying to predict outcomes, that we forget to be present and be alive when we have a chance.

Accept what is.

The best way to deal with something is to accept it. Instead of fighting it change your focus within and tap into your creativity to find ways around what you fear most of that unknown future that you want to avoid.

In the end, the reason why uncertainty disturbs people so much is that they don’t know what is going to happen. Not knowing what is going to happen may put you off because you fear that what you know will be gone.

I challenge you to create excitement about the possibilities that the future and the new can bring.

There is always something positive.

I could still be mad at God, or whatever forces created us for the fact that it took my sister away too soon, she was only 17. But instead, I decided, because she taught me to, to focus on the good. I still miss my sister and I will until I pass. But this doesn’t take away the fact that thanks to her, her life lesson, her way to look at an inevitable fact I have learned to appreciate life in a way that very few people do. I have learned that ‘this too shall pass’. Even the feeling of loss, what is known. There is a possibility for growth, change, and expansion in every situation is you keep an open mind and loving heart.

The choice is yours

You decide how uncertainty will affect you.

If you want to be in control of your life you have to:

  • Create a positive mindset
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Create a healthy relationship with yourself
  • Accept the truths of life and make the best of it.

I wrote this article as the weekly prompt and in memoriam of my sister Brenda who taught me so much about life and whom I miss dearly.

Barbara

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