Getting Comfortable with the Unknown
This. Is. So. Hard.
The unknown is what terrifies me (and most people I know) to my very core. It is why I will stay in an awful situation or relationship or job for much longer than I need to – because the known suffering is more comfortable than the unknown, well… maybe suffering but who knows! Now that I am back in Toronto from Asia, I am right in the middle of that grey area – the dreaded “in between”. I am working on building my own business, working with new clients, running retreats and launched my book. Things are going well, but there are still some major unknowns in my life. I am looking for a new place to live and I am not sure whether I will be in Toronto forever or keep moving around a bit. I am blessed enough that I can work from pretty much anywhere.
That being said, the discomfort of not knowing where/when/how things are going to look is terrifying. I am single again for the first time in years and that brings a world of new insecurities to the table and there is no known in that. It’s uncomfortable AF (my mom asked me what AF means today so for the mom’s reading, it means As Fuck).
I have experienced a whirlwind of emotions coming back. I have been grieving the life I knew in Seoul, as although I was I was ready to leave it’s still been a tough transition. I have been noticing some friendships that are no longer working for me anymore and I am in the discomfort of those realities. I like to hold onto things as long as humanly possible, no matter how painful it gets. I am trying to look at the possibility of letting go of things with a bit more grace and before they drag me through the mud. That being said, that discomfort of not knowing how things will look after letting go is terrifying.
When I was in active addiction the thought of never drinking again was so overwhelming. There was no way. I didn’t know who I was if I didn’t have alcohol in my life because I identified wholeheartedly with the party-girl persona. Soon, I didn’t know who I was WITH alcohol in my life either. And that is what it comes down to – if something is no longer in alignment with my authentic self, I need to let go of it. The pain of letting it go has proven to never be as painful as holding on so damn tight to what is killing me.
How do we get comfortable sitting in the grey? Sitting in the discomfort?
I was emotional on Sunday. Was just having one of those days. I was at this event last weekend called She Recovers with some amazing women. This event cracked me open and helped me gain some clarity around what I want in my life and the direction I am going. The problem is that in order to move forward I have to let go. As I’m in that space right now, Sunday brought lots of emotions. I was feeling the weight of what is coming. I am loving working for myself and building my own business, but its fucking hard sometimes. Sometimes, I want to just give up and get a “regular job” and have regular hours and steady pay and have someone tell me what to do because it is HARD work staying motivated and trusting that you are doing the right thing. It can be exhausting and sometimes I want to give up.
I messaged a friend and checked in with her since I was having a rough one, and she reminded me that being sober is raw and real and can be fucking hard and it is okay.
She also reminded me to come back to my breath and of the importance of Breathing into the discomfort and breathing into the unknown. I took a deep breath and sent it to heart and then took another deep breath and sent it to my solar plexus where I am feeling tight and fearful and took another deep breath and sent it to my heart again and then I paused. I felt. I cried. I felt some more. And I woke up today knowing that This too shall pass and I’ve got this.
So, how can you get comfortable with the unknown:
1. Get curious about what is behind the fear.
Yeah, it is fear of the unknown is there, but what is behind the fear of the unknown. I was journaling on this yesterday and here is what came up for me:
The fear of the unknown is real and terrifying. I am terrified that things aren’t going to work out the way I WANT them to. I want to control the situation and the unknown doesn’t feel controllable. Except, everything is controllable because we can control our reactions and our perceptions to situations. By taking a moment to realign with my true self, my desires and aspirations and intentions, by breathing into the unknown, I gain control back. I also need to remember that and believe that the universe is rigged in my favour and that the things that have not worked out the way I wanted have always been for my highest good. I have to let go of what I cannot control and gain clarity and acceptance of what I can.
The second fear is the fear of not being good enough. I am afraid I am not worthy of having things work out the way I desire. What if all of my dreams do come true? What if things work out better than I could imagine? Life can be awfully hard sometimes, but it can also be beautiful and full and exciting. It might all just work out the way I hope, and I deserve things to work out beautifully as well.
2. In that, what can I control? What can I do to regain that sense of grounding and clarity?
I rewrote all of my intentions for how I want to feel and what my goals are. I started by saying:
I desire _____________ because ____________________.
I desire a successful book launch because I know with conviction my message will help people.
I desire to feel abundance in my business because I know with financial security I can help more people.
Then, I tapped into these desires and meditated on them. I took a few deep breaths and envisioned how it would be to feel what I really desire manifest in my life. Tap into the feelings behind the desires and envision them being boomeranged out into the universe and coming back into your heart. It works.
I made a list of priorities for today so that I would feel accomplished and I got shit done. I always feel so much better when I am productive and not procrastinating. Procrastination usually comes out of fear for me, fear that I am not good enough to do A, B or C. Today, I was productive and ticked a bunch of stuff off of my to-do list. That is THE BEST feeling.
I wrote in a secret recovery group I am in on Facebook this week about my discomfort and looking for how others move through and what action steps they take. In response, Lara Frazier reminded me,
“We can do hard things”.
We certainly can.