Guidepost #5 – Wholehearted Living

“I’ve come to realize that faith and reason are not natural enemies. It’s our human need for certainty and our need to “be right” that have pitted faith and reason against each other in an almost reckless way. We force ourselves to choose and defend one way of knowing the world at the expense of the other” – Dr. Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection.

If we wish to engage in our lives and in our relationships from a place of Wholeheartedness, then it is critical that we learn to tolerate the feelings of vulnerability that get triggered when we feel uncertainty. A lack of certainty does not mean that something is wrong or bad – it means that we are alive. When we rush to make the uncertain, certain – when we view the world in terms of black and white, either/or, and good or evil – it may paper over our fears and vulnerability for the moment, but it does so at the expense of our spirituality.

The research shows that there are two key practices that help us to tolerate fear and uncertainty: Intuition and Faith. Here are the definitions of each from The Gifts of Imperfection:
“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve development knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”

In other words, intuition relies on trusting ourselves and trusting our personal connection to our higher power rather than delegating decisions and “knowing” to other people or institutions. Certainly, that self-trust can be encouraged and strengthened by others, but ultimately, it we don’t trust ourselves, we won’t be able to connect with our intuition.

And what about faith?

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

This is crucial. Faith is leaning into mystery and uncertainty – Faith is NOT certainty.

Today’s Guidepost for Wholehearted Living is not about eliminating uncertainty – no matter how much we may wish to do so! It’s about letting go of the FEAR of uncertainty – making friends with uncertainty, if you will.

Questions to consider:

How do you cultivate intuition and faith in your life? How do you “make friends” with uncertainty?

Share your comments below. Let’s be brave, kind, and awkward together!