Grappling With the Unknown

people walking in crosswalk downtown as if they're walking into the unknown

The unknown has been on my mind a lot lately for various reasons, some of which, surprisingly, are not about the context of the world and the United States at large. The unknown is a common theme in therapy. Will I find love in my life? Should I take this job? Was it the right choice to move here? What’s the best way to handle this situation? Did I eat the “right” thing?


As If There Are Only Two Options

I see my clients often, so often, struggling with the fact that they do not know what the future holds. There’s immense pressure to make the perfect choice . . as if such a thing existed.

If you can already detect, often the fears of the unknown surround “all or none” thinking, “right or wrong” perspectives . . . as if there are only two options.

Many people like things concrete. There can be feelings of safety in the tangible. However, that drive for making something that is abstract and unclear into an object you can hold in your hand, first of all can be impossible. Second of all, it can come with a steep price. That price is being stifled into a box where you only have limited options and are never allowed to make a wrong move.

When things are concrete and predictable, this also means they’re measurable and comparable. When things are measurable and comparable that means we’re evaluating and objectifying. I don’t believe you are an object.


Embracing the Unknown

By nature, and in general (not 100% of the time), I like being friends with the unknown. I enjoy the ride. I expect the world to be unpredictable (for better or for worse). However, I use to think this might indicate that something was wrong with me . . . maybe I’m in denial, maybe I’m too optimistic and that’s why it doesn’t scare me (much), maybe I’m naive.

Through my own therapeutic work (reading, journaling and psychotherapy) most of that second guessing shifted. I could go into the whole story of how it shifted, but I think what’s more important in this post is just the fact that it did. After years and years of vacillating between “This is the way I am” and “Is this okay that I am this way?” I am coming to the conclusion that it’s okay that I am the way I am.


The Thrill Ride

I get it. Not everyone is up for the possibility of a thrill ride, literal or metaphorical, and even if you are, it’s not guaranteed that it’s going to be a good time. They can be pretty scary and then that invokes the possibility that we’ll be unpredictable in the throes of it. Will I do something embarrassing, like scream or cry or wet my pants? Will I have the best time of my life? You might. That’s the unknown.

If you want to learn to embrace to unknown more and allow yourself more flexibility and freedom in your choices, give me a call and let’s chat about the possibility of working together.

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Karin Lawson

150 S. Pine Island Road Suite 300
Plantation, FL 33324