We live in uncertain times, not knowing whether tomorrow might bring sickness or health, wealth or poverty or even tp or no tp.
And with uncertainty can also come stress, worry, depression and anger which are never good things to have hanging around.
My wife and I were recently talking about how situations like the coronavirus that is upon us brings out either the best or the worst in some folks.
Fear may cause us to push our way to the head of the line to make sure we ‘get ours’ or faith may cause us to ask our elderly neighbor who is staying inside if they need anything from the store before we go.
What Would Gandalf Say?
In The Fellowship Of The Ring, Frodo said “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
And I think that is still very good advice.
Are we going to face our fears and sing from the windows and make the best of a bad situation or are we going to let fear, anger and depression rule the day?
Some Good Ways To Cope With Uncertainty Are:
- Face it gradually-avoidance of fearful or unpleasant situations may give you temporary relief, but practice facing reality gradually to increase your tolerance so you can make wiser decisions
- Connect to a bigger purpose-Focusing on what can transcend finite human existence, whether it is religion, spirituality, or dedication to a cause, can decrease uncertainty-driven worry and depression.
- Don’t underestimate your ability to cope-humans are generally resilient, even in the face of very stressful or traumatic events. If a feared outcome materializes, chances are you will deal with it better than you could now imagine.
- Take care of yourself-Sleep well, exercise, and stay close to family and friends (even if via social media or text)
- Realize that absolute uncertainty is impossible-Nothing is certain in life. The sooner you start thinking about that fact, the easier it will be to face it.
In spite of civilization’s great progress, the fantasy of humankind’s absolute control over its environment and fate is still just that—a fantasy. So, I say to embrace the reality of uncertainty and enjoy the ride!
And just to remind you that not everything that looks bad actually is bad, I will leave you with a poem from our old friend.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
Don’t forget that one of our primary tools in our arsenal to combat fear is to develop a strong faith. As a Christian, I believe strongly in the Power Of Prayer, but even if you don’t believe in anything, having a strong, courageous mindset like I talk about in my article How To Pray For Protection will help your overcome uncertainty in these uncertain times.
(Also see How To Not Panic)