Sitting with uncertainty. It comes up a lot in therapy. Many people have the idea that it’s about not caring about uncertainty or learning to cut off from it, but I think it’s much more about feeling it. Really feeling it. That doesn’t mean we won’t distract from the discomfort or that we may prefer to not feel it. Given we live in a world where there us so much uncertainty of many different shapes and sizes, I think it must be about living with it, alongside it rather than trying to convince ourselves we don’t experience it. When living with chronic uncertainty and/trauma it can quickly turn into further trauma and/or burnout.
How do we respond?
Then there is the question of how we respond to ourselves and other when we feel we are sitting with uncertainty. Often, we have more understanding for others when they feel uncertain or anxious, than we do for ourselves. Many haven’t had the experienced of being empathically attuned to as children so how can we learn to respond to ourselves and others with more compassion and understanding?
We tend to either avoid feelings altogether or sit so heavily in it that we can’t function so trying to re-ground and find a middle ground can often be helpful. When we are struggling the inner critic can have a field day so learning what the inner critic is trying to save us from can be a step towards compassion too. Having a sense of what brings us comfort can be a way of caring for those needs that may not have been met as a child.
What are your signs of living with uncertainty?
What are you signs of either living with too much uncertainty or not engaging with it at all? Is there anything you can you do to offset some of it? How can you be more nurturing towards yourself and others during this time?
There’s no shame in needing help too. So if you need to talk it through, get in touch and we can work through it together.