For the past five or so years, since I started to make a living as a writer, I have lived a life as if I was blindfolded; not knowing at all what the future has in store for me. As a writer I put words together in sentences, creating stories from a blank sheet of paper, with a great hope that people will be moved and entertained by them. I am never sure of the result since it’s easy to get lost in one’s thoughts, not certain that all the reader needs for understanding the story really is on the paper. And I often fear whether or not I’m spending my time (and money) developing the right projects, i.e. the ones that will sell.
At a personal level this is what we all do each and every day, though not always aware it. We all live with uncertainty, even though some people might run away or hide from it. Some of us try to control the situation/our life as much as possible scheduling our days to the minute. Most people prefer safety over the uncertainty, and so most people prefer to have a job that guarantees a salary at the end of the month, every month. We make plans for next week, next month, next year, next decade and some even plan their retirement decades ahead. This way of living with uncertainty had me thinking of two ways I am battling it. One aspect is that planning one’s life is more or less a requirement for a shared life, and that is what I truly want. The other aspect is that I want to reduce the anxiety that comes with living in the uncertainty of when I’ll get the next paycheck, and whether or not I am on the right path when it comes to my businesses and stories.
I have a really hard time making long term plans for two reasons. First of all I’m a bit damaged by traumatic experiences in my past which has turned my life upside down several times. So my past conditioning tells me bad things actually happen. My reaction to it has been that I better be prepared, because things rarely turn out the way I plan them to. Even though years has passed, I’m still battling the effects of those traumas. I feel I always need to be on my toes because I never know when the next blowback will hit me. My second reason for not doing long term planning is because I am a freelance writer; I never know when my next paycheck is coming and so the uncertainty has a tendency to limit me at times.
Uncertainty is something I struggle with a lot, and it evokes a lot of fear and anxiety. What’s fascinating is that it has become even more present since I started The Bead Movement. The beads have made me look myself in the mirror on a daily basis; am I really living my life just the way I want to? Am I really doing the best I can? What this way of living has created is a very aware life, where there is no place to hide. I can’t fool myself anymore, I can’t trick myself into believing something, because everything and every emotion is nowadays on the surface of my existence. I have forced myself to live a more courageous life, where I need to face my fears every day. It’s absolutely amazing and pretty scary too.
This week I have felt as if I’m up in the air, far, far from grounded. I’ve been quite emotional, and quite anxious. What I realized was that the answer to this anxiety and fear was not to hide it or to run away from it, but to feel it through and learn to live with it. The fact is that there is really just one single answer to both my issues – and that is to have FAITH. As long as I am staying true to my intuition and what my heart guides me to do (business-wise or personal), I’m on the right path. To know, that as long as I don’t make choices based on fear, I will be okay. When pondering this I realized that my past conditioning taught me a false truth. Because when I now look at my life with fearless eyes I can see that I actually made it through those difficult times, and that that experience should be the important fact (not that bad things happen). In contrary to people who haven’t yet experienced traumas (and hopefully never will) I actually know that I can survive it. I not only survived it, but I came out of those experiences even stronger than before and more certain of where I want to go, and who I want to be. I just need to keep that in mind. To trust that everything happens for a reason, and it is because of my past that I can live this life I am living now. So I will not run away from the uncertainty, and I won’t limit myself due to the fear and anxiety it creates, but instead I will learn to have faith because I know I will be fine no matter what happens in the future. That is a fact.
And just so you know, I have taken the first trusting steps towards the future by already starting to plan the summer vacation. Maybe not a big step for most people, but a huge step for me.