“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins
I didn’t want to believe that uncertainty would be a part of my life.
I wanted control. I wanted to know exactly what was going to happen next, and I didn’t.
I was stuck at a job that was unfulfilling, I had no real romantic connection, and I worried about what would happen if I came out as a gay woman.
I was living a very unmanageable life, and I was spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.
There was a big piece of me that didn’t believe I was good enough. That constantly wanted more. That strived for perfection. I developed a need for control to avoid these painful thoughts and feelings. It distracted me from the pursuit of perfection and my unrelenting standards.
I didn’t like the unknown. That brought about fear. And my autopilot was to disconnect from fear.
I couldn’t comfortably deal with any uncertainty. And the way this manifested for me was quite destructive. I disconnected from the moment through an eating disorder, drugs, and alcohol. My addictions provided a distorted relief so I didn’t have to deal with living life on life’s terms.
I was scared to show my authentic self. I lived so far removed from my truth and my core that connecting with it seemed foreign and frightening. My addictions constantly wanted more and kept me in a cycle of destruction.
The thought of being present in my life scared me. I did not think the quality of my life could improve. I was stuck in a tunnel vision where my identity was my addictions, and they were destroying me, slowly but surely.
I am grateful to have awakened in my life. I remember being in a taxicab in NYC, shaking. I had been out late the night before. I was in a constant cycle of engaging in my addictions, and my body couldn’t handle it anymore. It was then that I realized that my addictions wanted to see me dead.
But I did not want to see me dead.
I knew another way of living was possible, so I started to let go of these destructive coping mechanisms. I went away to treatment and for the first time let help in. I surrendered and knew I could not do it alone anymore.
And with this came some fear. Some uncertainty. The unknown. All of these feelings and realities that for so long kept me paralyzed. I had to truly face my feelings and the present, as myself, for the first time.
I realized that it’s a choice to stay paralyzed and stuck. A choice that I have all the power and control over.
I soon started to sit with these uncomfortable feelings, and guess what? I was okay! I learned that feelings are a part of life and fall on a spectrum day in and day out. I could survive any feeling that life threw my way.
The illusion of control is what hurt me. Resisting my feelings and my true self is what hurt me. It is by allowing myself to sit with myself that true strength comes in. I am connected to love.
So here is the advice I have for any of you that may be battling addiction or have a hard time dealing with uncertainty and the unknown.
Two words that have a lot of meaning. You are stronger, more powerful, and more resilient than you think. All that you need is directly there inside of you. In infinite proportions.
You have the ability to sit with and conquer whatever life throws your way. The more you give that power to another person, place, or thing, the more you lose yourself. You don’t need to do that anymore.
Let it Go
I tried to control everything for so long. I manipulated and came up with story after story to get my way. My family and friends saw me when I wanted to see them. My relationships were about what I could get from the other person, what void in me they could fill.
When I learned the freedom that comes with surrendering and letting things go, I watched in astonishment as things started to fall into place.
Letting go means accepting whatever life throws your way and knowing you don’t need to act on impulsivity, or fear, or insecurity. It means allowing reality to set in and knowing that in the end, you will be okay.
Focus on the Present
The present moment is a gift. It is all we have. This moment is everything.
The more I focus on the present, the more I can tap into gratitude and peace.
I spent years unable to accept the truth about the present moment. I didn’t think I was strong or good enough to handle it.
The worries about the future take me out the present as well. I have to let it go. I can’t obsess about all that I want to do and accomplish, or be dependent on the life I see for myself in a year or five years or ten years. All I have is now. This moment. And it is my duty to be the best version of myself in this moment.
Each moment is an opportunity for growth. You are okay in this moment. That is all that matters. The more you focus on this, the more the fears subside and you can be the person you were put here to be.
Take it All In
There is no need to rush through life. We only have one life to live. Take your time. Slow down. Enjoy the little things. Take longer showers. Smile at a stranger. Practice affirmations in front of the mirror. Be true to yourself.
The more you get in touch with yourself, the more connected you become. And the more connected you become, the more the quality of your life enhances.
Photo by Bhumika Bhatia
About Lauren Stahl
Lauren Stahl is the founder of SPARKITE where users SPARK what they want to be held accountable to and she helps to hold them accountable. This is a growing global community empowering, inspiring, and helping people unlock their power within by the day. You can learn more about Lauren’s Accountability services at www.sparkite.com.