Sometimes, being stuck in not-knowing is the hardest part. This is very human. We want to know what will happen.
When I was a teenager, I knew a young girl who, when we were watching tv, would always ask, "What's going to happen next?" In stressful situations, most of us can be like that – at least a little.
If we knew what to expect, or how much time it would take, we think, we could handle all of this. We could handle the pain of grief. We could handle the worry of coping.
But could we, really?
The past few days, I’ve been waiting on something completely unrelated to loss or grief. I have no idea if it will come to fruition, or how it might unfold. I could fidget and make up possible outcomes (which I have). Or I could sit with my discomfort (which I have, too).
Not many of us are comfortable sitting with our discomfort. Really, how could we be? Most of the time, it seems just plain impossible. But, guess what: It’s worth experimenting with.
Try this for just a few seconds - maybe ten seconds. Simply focus on what you’re feeling in your body.
Identify the part of you that is the most agitated, tingly, warm, or cold. Notice which parts are numb. And keep breathing naturally.
And, now, notice this: The world did not stop. You did not explode. In fact, you may be just a bit calmer.
Some people call this “mindfulness.” I use the word grounded instead, because it's like having my feet solidly on the ground. (Plus, it’s not all about the mind; it has to include body feelings, too.)
Whatever you want to call it, try it this week. Maybe a few times. Maybe a few times a day. Try it whenever you notice your thoughts spinning. Or when you’re making up stories about what might or might not happen.
See what happens, and if anything changes for you. (Stop, of course, if anything gets worse, but I think it just may help.)
May you find, amidst your concerns, a still place to rest for a while.