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LIVING IN THE AMBIGUITY


A young woman of color casually sips coffee from a mug
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff)

 

 

I have a lot going on. In the midst of all of it, there is a lot of ambiguity. Uncertainty.

 

My human mind (aka ego) wants to know everything! It wants control over the entire Universe. It wants to have certainty and no surprises.

 

A long time ago I was given this advice. I wish I remembered where it came from, but I have always heeded it, especially in times like these:

 

Learn to be comfortable living in the ambiguity.

 

As of this writing I am living in the ambiguity, and not too comfortable:


  • Waiting for a new passport and the ambiguity of the French postal system and if it will arrive before I travel back to the United States.

  • In the process of renewing my French residency visa and the ambiguity of not knowing how that process will unfold and turn out

  • Having to look for a new apartment in Paris, which is a difficult and often arbitrary process with an infinite number of variables, including unpredictable landlords, possibilities for a mortgage to buy a place, the upcoming Paris Olympics and how that affects the housing market, wide choices of neighborhoods, apartment prices, sizes, locations, light, heat, neighbors, proximity to metro stations, shopping, etc. etc. etc.

  • Not to mention boxes and trucks and moving (YIKES! I hate moving!)

  • Flying with the dogs, which always leaves me anxious with the vagaries of airline policies (which have changed without notice in the past) grumpy ticket and gate agents, no places to walk the dogs while waiting for our flight (assuming they let us board), etc. etc. etc.

  • Not to mention some dental work that needs to be done, a weird mole that needs to be looked at, continued efforts in my recovery journey, and the “normal” elusiveness of maintaining healthy relationships with balance and boundaries.

  • I’m sure there’s more, but that’s already an enormous list…

 

So how does one “live in the ambiguity” with comfort, peace, and serenity? How does one face the unknown with equanimity and confidence?

 

Generally, one doesn’t (at least this one doesn’t). At least not easily, not immediately and certainly not perfectly. The best I can do is live in the uncertainty with awareness that I am in fact uncertain and the foundation of that uncertainty and the uncomfortable feelings that go with it, is fear.

 

There are many acronyms for F.E.A.R. in 12-Step recovery:

 

Face Everything And Recover

F*** Everything And Run

False Evidence Appearing Real

 

But my favorite is:

 

Forgot Everying (is) All Right

 

Or in the words of Richard Carlson:


Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all small stuff


Looking back at similar situations over my lifetime, I can honestly say that every single one of them has turned out alright!

 

Every one!

 

I’ve have never had a situation in my life, large or small, that has not turned out for my good, in my favor, for my spiritual growth.

 

I could give you many examples, and there are many examples taken from my own life in my book, Prosperity Now! A 12-Week Journey to the Life of Your Dreams.

 

So, I will give you just one:

 

In 1991, my partner, Willie, died of AIDS at the young age of 25. It was one of the lowest low points of my life. I had almost no spiritual support, absolutely no recovery and very little financial resources, a few friends, and no direction in life. I was adrift, lost and confused before his health went downhill and he died. It was infinitely worse after he passed.

 

Completely at a bottom emotionally, and every other which way, I decided to go to the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Center (today called the Pride Center) to volunteer. “Something” pulled me to go there on a Saturday morning when they were having a volunteer brunch.

 

Not knowing anyone, it was a scary thing for me to go, but I did – out of desperation. We sometimes call God, “GOD” or Gift Of Desperation.

 

There I volunteered to staff the coffee house on Sunday afternoons. I reasoned I could spend lonely Sundays there, watch the New York Giants football games and do my homework. They let me take that shift, even though they weren’t normally open on Sunday afternoons!

 

A new staffer needed an experienced staffer to work with them a few times, to show them what to do with the cash register, stocking supplies and snacks, etc. A guy I didn’t know, Timmy, said he would work with me.

 

We staffed Sunday afternoons together the next week… and the week after that… and the week after that… and for several years after that!

 

Timmy and I became best friends. He supported me through my low point and several others in the ensuing years, until I got sober, and my life really took off. He lent me his car (mine had been repossessed) and money, which I always remembered to pay back (not always a strong suit with me in those days).

 

And perhaps the most miraculous in this series of “happenstance” chance encounters, when I hit bottom with my drug and alcohol problems, the Sunday staffing gig put me in touch with people from a Sunday night 12-Step recovery meeting, so I knew just where to go when I was ready to “put the plug in the jug” and take that next step up the ladder to freedom.

 

Out of Willie’s death came many, many good things. I was in perhaps the deepest ambiguity of my life, before or since, where I did not know anything. But it all worked out for my highest and best good, and for the good of all involved.

 

Was Willie’s death in vain? Absolutely not! The gift of him, in my life and in his passing, brought untold miracles to me and – I am 100% certain – to everyone else involved, including Willie himself, who remains an angel in my life. I think of him nearly every day and he passed away over 30 years ago!

 

Whenever I find myself (like now) uncertain about big things – where will I live? Will I be able to stay in France? How will my trip/flight/ship go? I remember that I have had many ambiguous situations before and they ALWAYS turn out better than I could imagine, for my highest and best good.

 

When I remember that God is in charge and is ALWAYS ready to give me my highest and best good.

 

Happy Sunday (on Monday)

 

 

Johnny


I am available to do amazing I Ching readings and dream interpretation.


I offer individual and group Prosperity Now! sessions and general life-coaching.


Visit my website: www.johnafrederick.com

Join us for our weekly Wednesday Course in Miracles group. Contact me at johnny@johnafrederick.com 

Venmo @John-Paris-36

CashApp $janthony10

PayPal @JohnFrederick546

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