Learning about uncertainty, next steps, and gratitude

I’m one of those people who peeks at the end of the book before reading it all.


Or, say, even getting halfway through.


There have definitely been times when I’ve ruined the experience of the book by doing so; but, I do it anyway because I’m feeling anxious over a particular character’s experience or uncomfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen.


I like to know in advance that it’s all going to turn out okay, that I can trust that possibly too-good-to-be-true neighbor, or police detective, or whatever helpful, reliable, compassionate role is being filled.


Or just that no one dies in the end.


If only life allowed us to peak at the end. Wouldn’t that be useful?


And by the end, I don’t mean the end, end -- we all know how that will turn out -- but that point in time when happily-ever-after begins for real.


Do you know what I mean? Don’t you want to sometimes know that you can relax because it’s all going to be okay?


What I’m learning now is to refocus that desire to the present moment and loosen my grip on needing certainty to feel safe and secure.


Life, as they say, is about living in the moment, and, like a book, is best experienced and enjoyed without knowing how it all turns out.


That often requires sitting with some uncomfortable feelings and reminding myself that I am okay, even if the future looks uncertain.


I’m learning that I don’t, in fact, need to know how everything turns out at the end of my book/life/week to enjoy this moment right now.


As my friend Maria Holme, of Your Next Step says, you only need to know what this one small step in front of you is and to take that one. The next will show up when the time is right.


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There are a lot of emotions swirling around this time of year as we enter the holiday season.


I’m feeling it. Maybe you are too.


But right now, the only thing I need to focus on is what’s the next step in front of me now. And that’s easy.


My next step is to acknowledge all of the beautiful gifts I have received in my life and to express my gratitude for them with my friends and family.


Everything else can wait a bit.


To everyone who’s participated in the making of this website and blog, and to those visiting here, thank you for being a part of the Help & Hope Southcoast community and helping us raise awareness around mental health.


There’s a lot of great work being done in this region and a lot of people helping and being helped.


I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!


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