Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a narrative that you can’t control?
You’re uncertain about next steps and risks and possible outcomes, so you spin round and round and round, worry trailing from your fingertips and wrapping you up in indecision.
I think most of the world could fall into this description. Thanks, 2020. Pandemic. Catastrophic death tolls. Battle for human rights. Unprecedented division during an election. Family breakdown. Business breakdown. Social structure breakdown. On and on and on…
We were all waiting for the return of normal, or working to establish a new normal. And then we all got sick to death of that phrase because we came face to face with the realization of just how much of our narrative was outside of our control.
The story continues sailing onward and you’re left clinging to the seemingly broken rudder with a hurricane raging around you. And your voice is ripped away from you before the words even leave your lips.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!
How do I navigate my way through this when I can’t even see where I’m headed?!
Uncertainty has a paralyzing effect. Definitely on me. Maybe on some of you. And I know that I’ve sailed into enough uncertainty this year to last me a lifetime. My natural instinct is to hide, to withdraw, to make myself small and quiet and hopeful that the storm will pass me by.
So it took a category 5 to rip me from the broken rudder and start sailing my ship right into the eye of the storm….where I found some surprising things.
It was quiet, so the internal and external voices died down and I could hear the sounds of my heart, the questions it was asking me. Who do YOU want to be? What do YOU want to do? Who do YOU want to serve?
It was calm, so the seeds of clarity were able to plant themselves in my mind. What strong and beautiful things do I want to take with me into my future? Which unhealthy things do I want to leave behind forever?
It was utterly uncontrollable, so I learned that the less I tried to control, the more power I found. It was like my actions, my decisions were concentrated and less likely to get lost in the chaos of the storm.
This was the place where I found strength in my story. Where I accepted uncertainty and found power in the decisions that were mine, and mine alone.
2020 has charted a course for so many of us that we never could have imagined, and maybe would not have chosen. But it’s brought unexpected strength. And resilience. And community….even if it’s virtual. Because we realize that we are all sailing the same seas, facing the same storms (though the details are different), learning the same lessons.
Choose wisely. Hope fiercely. Don’t. Give. Up.
Over and over and over again. Until we pry open our eyes and see that the sun is shining again and the skies are clear. Somewhere in 2021, that will be our view. That’s my fierce hope, though some of the storms that began this year will stretch beyond 2021, as they should.
Find the place, the moment, the metaphor that gives strength to your story, and you’ve found the most vital element it has. It’s the one that reaches across any divide, through any storm and speaks to humanity at large.
What’s your moment?