I don’t like change. I never have. There is a certain amount of comfort to be had when you can pretend you have some control over how things happen in your life. And the way we do that is to have structure in our lives. It may just be something as simple as our normal daily routine. Whatever it is, it gives us a center, a resting place, a place our lives revolve around. Everything is structured around that or progresses from it and when it changes, there is uncertainty once again.
I suppose it is that feeling of uncertainty that is so unsettling. The idea of not knowing what is going to happen next, or the fact that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring is not something we like to face. The routine gives us the illusion of the path ahead with a clear-cut direction. Uncertainty is confusion and the sense that time is passing us by while we are trying to get our bearings.
We learn to trust in the routine. It helps to give us a purpose. If something happens to upset that certainty, it feels as if something important has been removed from our very being and left behind an emptiness that causes us to falter in bewilderment. What are we supposed to do now? Which direction should I go in? Is there a solution? Where should I look to find it? People say “just keep on keeping on” or “the journey begins with one step”. But which way do I turn? And how do I do that? Everything has changed. And I never liked surprises.
When I was younger, the teaching that we must “become like little children” didn’t make a lot of sense. It’s beginning to make more sense now. Our tiny illusion of control is really just that. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We don’t know if there will even be a tomorrow. Should we give up in despair because we can’t fight the surety that there will be uncertainty?
No, we learn to live our lives within the tiny illusion. We must live as if we will always live. We must love and play and learn and do and continue to grow and continue to become whatever it is we will become. We have to nurture that trust in God and know that we will never know all the answers and that it is okay not to know. We have to nurture that faith which gives us strength and becomes that center and that certainty. It may get shaken from time to time, but it is always still there. And that gives us that inner peace and quiet which enables us to live.