Handling Times of Uncertainty
In February 1990, I arrived at my first assignment as a soldier. I remember coming with hope and excitement for my future in my eyes. I was living out my dream of playing my flute as a career. My life was perfect. I was out on my own and living my dream. That summer, I went home on vacation to see my parents. It was the first time I had seen them since I joined the Army in June of 1989. I still remember how it felt to walk through the door of my old house and get to hug my parents. It was awesome.
I was home only a few days when I got a call from my supervisor telling me that everyone in my company was being called to return to work. Operation Desert Shield had just started, and we were being called back so that we could deploy. What? Deploy? What does that even mean? The life I was living, my perfect life, living my dream, in one phone call, was shattered. I had no idea what would happen next. Fear started to settle in and become my new best friend.
Maybe this is how you're feeling right now. Six months ago, you were all living your life. Exciting about the future. Feelings of hope and excitement about finishing school, moving to a new city, an internship, or a new job fill in your dream. But life had something else planned for you. A pandemic! Life, as you know, it came to a screeching halt.
At first, you rolled with the punches hoping that it would all be over in a couple of months. It is almost the end of July, and COVID-19 is still raging, and to be honest, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Numbers are rising, and many states are threatening another lockdown.
Fear is your new best friend—fear of the unknown. You have no idea what the future holds for you. None of us do. Uncertainty is uncomfortable. You are wired to want to control your environment. Your brain is hardwired to assess and combat risk. Are you in flight or fight? Your mind doesn’t know the difference between running from a bear and what will happen next. To your brain, they are all the same.
Listen, my friend. Whatever you are feeling in this season of uncertainty is understandable. Maybe its panic, overwhelm, stressed out. All of those and then some are completely natural. Here is what I want you to walk away with today. You can't control the future. Pandemic or no pandemic, your days are not in your hands.
I have good news. There is something that you can control. You can control YOURSELF! You can control your thoughts, how you respond to fear, your beliefs, your attitude, how you react to media, your mindset, how you choose to help others, and how you take care of your body.
Today, I want to encourage you to lean into uncertainty. Understand that there is no way that you can predict tomorrow, six months from now, or six years from now. But you can predict how you are going to show up. Continue doing what you're doing. If you are going to school, go to school, study hard, and make good grades. That is what you can control. If you are going to work, go to work, and do a great job. Continue doing all the great things you are doing.
Hold steady beloved. You are doing great.
I want to leave you with this graphic I found on IG. Print it out and hang it somewhere where you can see it. I found it @findmywellbeing, but it belongs to @horizonfound. It is a graphic of the things you can control.
Enjoy my friend!
Stay healthy! Stay safe!
If there is anything that I can do to support you, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make today amazing because you are amazing!
In grace & gratitude,