There is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now. I am keenly aware of a feeling of insecurity both within myself and in those around me. How do we make sense of the changes in our nation’s political and economic landscape? And how might they impact our daily lives? We just don’t know. Not to mention the unknown impacts of changes, often unbidden, in our work and personal lives. That not knowing can be difficult to tolerate. But what if we are up to the task of tolerating all of this uncertainty and not-knowingness?
Guess what? We are! We are made for these times: socially, politically, and personally, too. The author Clarissa Pinkola Estes states it this way: “I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.”
What a hopeful and empowering message: regardless of whatever comes our way, we have been preparing for it. One of my favorite metaphors for navigating this journey of life is sailing a ship. Estes expands on that image of being a ship, saying, “Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.”
We are strong. We can hold our own. Even when parts of us don’t feel strong. It is these difficult, stormy times in our lives that help us to discover and experience our strength.
Estes reminds us: “When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.” You CAN handle the choppy waters of life, now and in the future. Take heart, and move forward in your life, into the midst of unknowing. You are not alone on this journey; look around, and see all of the other ships around you. You are a great ship, made for this journey. Made for these times, exactly.