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Finding Trust in Uncertainty
Hello dear ones,
I’ve left sunny LA behind and am back in the snowy landscape north of the border. Something has shifted in me and I’m basking in the magic of knowing that I’ve done some serious work and integration is happening. Am excited to share more with you below.
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Thank you, as always, for being a part of the CARESCAPES universe! It’s such a deep honour to have you here with me!
We’re in an eclipse portal, with the full moon eclipse in Taurus coming on November 8, ushering out of eclipse season. I’ve been preparing for this event for months, knowing that it was going to have an impact on me but not quite knowing what exactly the impact would look like and how I would handle it whenever it was came.
I knew that I’d be spending this time in LA and had ambivalent feelings about it. I’d been planning this trip for months and was supposed to meet up with someone I was dating, long distance, while we were both there. When things ended abruptly and brutally, I decided that I wasn’t going to let the breakup influence my decision to go. While LA is huge, I knew that we were both staying in or frequenting similar neighbourhoods, and that it was possible that we’d run into each other. In the weeks leading up to my flight, I imagined all of the possible scenarios for how this event might occur (their dog running up to me in the park while I laid there reading; bumping into one another in the aisles of our fav bookstore; they’d walk by while I was out on a date) and my brain looped on these scenes night after night as I tried to sleep.
It’s the understatement of the century to say that I don’t like uncertainty. When trauma burst into my life, it took everything I knew and turned it upside down. I became terrified of the unpredictable and tried to come up with every possible solution to each of my greatest fears — of which there were MANY — in the hopes that when the unknown came for me, I’d be ready. (Un)Fun Fact: no amount of preparation will stop bad things from happening and preparing for them endlessly doesn’t actually protect you because you’re more equipped than you think 🙃
The last few years I’ve been working to shift my relationship with uncertainty from one of fear to one of trust. Every year, at the start of the Gregorian calendar, I pick a word as my intention. 2021 was “Surrender,” a reminder that I could surrender to uncertainty and still be okay. 2022’s word is “Mystery,” my attempt at making uncertainty more sexy and magical. Now, with our eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio, I’m being reminded (thanks to Colin Bedell of @queercosmos) that this is the time to find trust in uncertainty. Okay okay cool cool cool.
I didn’t think it was possible to embody this message. Then, in the days leading up to the eclipse, something shifted. I sat on a zoom call with my therapist and I felt totally calm. “It’s like I just trust that even if we do run into each other, I’ll be okay. Like I can trust myself in this uncertainty.” “Wow! That’s HUGE!” she exclaimed. She asked me if we could do some work to integrate this feeling of self-trust. I called up one of the imaginary scenarios that kept me up for hours, and as I saw my ex and their dog, I felt “Well, okay, this sucks, but you got this. You will recover from this.”
Spoiler: we didn’t run into each other (though it turns out that the friend I was staying with for the first half of my trip lives above the office that one of my ex’s close friends works out of; LA is smaller than we may think).
There is so much uncertainty in life. Though we may spend hours and hours trying, imagining every possible outcome isn’t actually what helps build self-trust. Self-trust is that feeling that we will show up for ourselves no matter what — we will not self-abandon anymore. Self-trust is staring into the unknown, acknowledging that we’re scared, and stepping into it anyways. Self-trust is looking at all that we’ve survived and knowing that we can survive whatever is to come. That doesn’t mean that whatever is coming won’t hurt us, devastate us, or break our hearts. Self-trust is knowing that we can mend our broken hearts.
Of course, I want more for us than just survival. And I also want us to feel held by community. We shouldn’t have to face uncertainty alone. I need my besties to remind me that not knowing doesn’t have to equal death, even though that’s how it so often feels in my body. I can see how I’m reaching a new stage in my healing where I can offer myself these reminders all on my own now. Because I trust that no matter that, I’m on my side, and I can catch myself when I fall.
Finding trust in uncertainty is less about trusting uncertainty and more about learning to trust ourselves in the uncertainty. So how do we do that as humans who’ve been gaslit so much that when someone asks us to discern between intuition and anxiety we’re like LOLOLOL??? 🙃🙃🙃
We stop abandoning ourselves. We can do this by figuring out what our boundaries are; asserting those boundaries with others; and learning the difference between permeable, flexible, and rigid boundaries. If this is something you’d like support with, you can check out my webinar.
We learn to feel our feelings. Dissociation and disconnection are brilliant survival strategies, and at a certain point in time, we actually don’t need them anymore. When we choose to be with our feelings, we’re telling those younger parts of ourselves that our feelings matter. That we matter. My bestie Varvara has an incredible course called “How to Feel” that I cannot recommend enough.
We celebrate ourselves. After a lifetime of shame and blame, of giving into our inner critic (again, great survival resources at one point in time), we learn to affirm and validate ourselves. When shame comes up, we choose compassion instead. When we have a win in our lives, we throw ourselves a little party (maybe you treat yourself to take out, call a friend to share your success, or literally give yourself a pat on the back).
My dear friend Tristan is embarking on a contentious legal battle for shared custody of his three kids. From the GMF: Tristan is an amazing father, friend, partner, and ally. He puts the needs of his children above all else. He spends time, energy, and money to make sure he shows up for them in a consistent, positive, and stable way. He is the father I know that I and many others wish we had growing up. He is a queer, trans dad who has been separated from his children and is moving across the country to be with them; however, these plans are being thwarted due to a custody battle his ex-wife is pursuing.