As a clinician, I often hear people express frustration about not knowing what will happen. This idea manifests into the belief that in order to feel at peace, knowing the outcome is more important than going through the journey.
"I need to know if I will be accepted into this undergraduate program.”
“I need to know if we will get married."
"I need to know what the outcome of this meeting will be.”
When pressed to explain why this need exists, often the response is “because I just need to know,” or “because then I won’t be disappointed.” Centering thoughts around disappointment may be due to past experiences and "knowing" the outcome can feel like a security blanket that shields you from potential pain and suffering. But ask yourself, is it fair to use the past to set the tone for your future?
It’s in the experiences we have over the course of our journey, whether they be joyous or painful, that we truly learn about the self - mind, body, soul, and spirit. Each experience teaches us more, develops greater understanding, and builds our capacity for resilience. Experiencing discomfort along the way can be challenging, yet if we program our minds to understand that it may be only one part of the experience, we can choose to believe that the outcome will be greater. I’m reminded of the scripture in James 1:3-4: “Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.”
So, I challenge you to choose to shift your way of thinking when going into any new experiences. Choose to engage in mindfulness. Be engaged in the present without judgment and without an expectation to “need to know” the outcome. Allow yourself to learn while going through the experience to gain resilience and establish inner peace. This engagement can look and feel different for everyone.
What could it look like for you?