#wisdom_biscuit: You deserve to be less scared. 

ouroborosScary, not scared. And certain uncertainty.

We live in a scary time.

Of course it is scary. This is an election year, and the leadership of the most powerful country in the world is about to change. We are going from the familiar to the unknown.

I remember, every year around March or April, telling my high school students that the senior class was going to have a lot of feelings come up. I annually prognosticated that best friends would start fighting, loyal students would badmouth the school, and other results of anxiety would arise. And I explained that this was to be expected because the 12th graders were about to lose everything they had ever known. This uncertainty and loss, I told my classes, would wreak havoc on the system in which we all operated.

And it always did.

It is scary not to know, and it is scary to lose what is known. The allure of the familiar and the disdain for major change is so strong that it keeps people from reaching for their dreams; it also keeps people returning time and again to familiar abusers.

We human beings crave certainty.

The desire to control and predict the unknown has led our species to collective learning, scientific advancements, and awesome technology. We now know, days or more in advance, things that were previously unpredictable, including the weather, the exact height of the tide, and the position of the stars in the sky. We know so much previously seemed unknowable.

But we don’t know with certainty who will win the election.

Consequently, we have anxiety.

  • We don’t know who will be making foreign policy decisions.
  • We don’t know who will be appointing supreme court judges.
  • We don’t know how the stock markets around the globe will rise or fall.

that-the-birds-of-worry-and-care-fly-over-you-head-this-you-cannot-change-but-that-they-build-nests-quote-1Our world is seized by anxiety.

Of course it is.

This is a scary time.

I would like to propose that you needn’t be scared.

Certainly, it is a scary time.

But does that mean you must be scared?

Must you indulge the feelings of fear? Or can you, like Churchill advised, see that fear is the biggest thing of which we are afraid?

We can acknowledge the transition that is happening, acknowledge the fear, and commit to live fully in this time – not only in fear.

After all, what does being scared do to help?

Leo Buscaglia wrote:

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.

I am not advocating putting one’s head in the sand and pretending that this is not a scary time. It is.

I am not advocating doing nothing to try to help secure the political future you desire. You should act.

I am not advocating ridiculous attempts to achieve certainty by forcing this diverse, colorful world into a simple black-and-white, us-versus-them, or good-and-bad world.

ouroborosI am advocating that you treat yourself with consciousness and kindness. Do not be like a the ouroboros snake eating its own tail, wrapping yourself in a tailspin of anxiety.

We crave solace and certainty.

It is a scary time.

But you needn’t be so scared.

It can be a scary time without you being scared.

Here is a beautiful quote by the poet Hafiz:

Fear is the cheapest room in the house.

I would like to see you living
In better conditions.
For your mother and my mother
Were friends. 

I know the Innkeeper
In this part of the universe.

Get some rest tonight,
Come to my verse again tomorrow.
We’ll go speak to the Friend together. 

I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you
Pray
Somewhere in this world –
Something good will happen. 

God wants to see
More love and playfulness in your eyes
For that is your greatest witness to bear.

 Your soul and my soul
Once sat together in the Beloved’s womb
Playing footsie. 

Your heart and my heart
Are very, very old
Friends.

that-the-birds-of-worry-and-care-fly-over-you-head-this-you-cannot-change-but-that-they-build-nests-quote-1Amen. Let us not live in fear.

While it is a scary time, we can joyously live, wholeheartedly, in the face of certain uncertainty.

#wisdom_biscuit: You deserve to be less scared.