Week Twenty-three: Tolerance of Uncertainty

“The willingness to consider possibility requires a tolerance of uncertainty.”

-Rachel Naomi Remen

This quote was my “word for the day” in my inbox this morning. Quite perfect for what I have been feeling lately.

The best word to use for my feeling state this past week was anxious. I have been feeling like I am missing something with the direction I am heading. The more I notice my deep-set  perfectionistic mindset, the more I understand that I have been missing seeing what I really do want. I dug out one of my favorite books, The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope, and had a strong recognition that I am moving through a doorway from a former dharma/definite purpose to a new one. Here is some of what he says about this on page 11. “Fear of Closing the Door.” “Someone has had a profound sense of living their dharma, maybe even for decades. But now that particular dharma is used up- lived out. This person knows that a certain dharma moment is over but has only the vaguest sense of what must be next. It increasingly begins to dawn on her that in order to find that next expression of dharma she is going to have to take a leap of some kind. She knows that she is going to have to close a door behind her before she will find the next door to open. And gradually she comes to the edge of a cliff, where she knows a leap of faith will be required.”

In our tribe call last night I read another quote from the book: “Holding an inner or outer conflict quietly instead of attempting to resolve it quickly is a difficult idea to entertain… [and we do not have experience doing so]. …if we held the tension between the two opposing forces, there would emerge a third way, which would unite and transcend the two.” (pg. 174)  And here I see the use for the cocoon from last week’s blog. I need to be in my container as this gets worked out. Maybe it does not need to involve jumping from a cliff. That would be lovely.

I was thinking about all of this as I fell asleep last night and woke in the early morning hours to what I call a “waking dream.” In it I saw a picture of two lives on either side of me, both on platters. On the left side was my 45 year dharma of being a Suzuki teacher and trainer, of raising my children, of running everywhere teaching around the world. On my right side was my new DMP plus some of the old dharma, plus other stuff that is just there- a big jumble of stuff I am trying out. Then- in front of me- emerged a platter with a silver dome on it. I heard that it was the next stage of my life. I could barely see it. It was amidst a snow storm like we have been having here for two days. I heard further that all the details are still being worked out, that is all is well, that my new blueprint is in place and that other factors are catching up. Cool.

I have three jobs. 1- Keep my spiritual work front and center like I am.  Put myself quietly in the hands of God. 2-Keep working on dropping perfectionistic patterns- dropping cement. “Be content to miss something in almost everything [ I ] do” (pg. 254), and 3-Stand in “tolerance of uncertainty.” As uncomfortable as this is, I am eager to do so.



4 thoughts on “Week Twenty-three: Tolerance of Uncertainty

  1. jessykaspirit

    Wonderful sharing. I have a poster on my bedroom wall that says “sometimes your only mode of transportation is a leap of faith.” This poster both inspires and frightens me and there I sit in that place of uncertainty. I don’t think the leap has to be off a cliff, maybe it just needs to be into that uncomfortable uncertainty place (which may feel like a cliff but isn’t). 😜



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