How to Trust That You’ll Be Okay No Matter What

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin

Did you play with cootie catchers as a kid?

You picked a number and watched anxiously as your friend counted it out. Open. Close. Open. Close.

You chose a color or picture or word and waited in anticipation as your friend unfolded the flap and read your destiny.

Or how about that MASH game? Mansion, apartment, shack, house?

I played these games with an insatiable desire for all the details.

How is all of this going to play out?

Where will I live?

What will become of me?

I was fascinated with details, and anyone who could supply them. Fortune cookies, horoscopes, and psychic phone readings all held the promise of telling me exactly what I yearned to know.

Will I be okay? 

With time, curiosity gave way to hard-core, type A planning. I’d plan everything out in excruciating detail and get my heart set on one specific outcome.

I’d make a deal with the cosmos. Everything will be okay if it turns out just like this, okay? Okay.

I craved certainty and the illusion of control.   

The answer “surprise me,” made me uncomfortable. Playing it by ear was torturous. Penciling it in felt like the easy way out.

I’ve made a lot of plans along the way: graduation plans, wedding plans, birth plans, career plans. Yet, no matter how painstakingly crafted these plans were, I was always a little surprised with where I ended up.

My actual wedding dress was nothing like the pictures I collected with friends in high school.

My thirty-eight-hour, two epidural labor was nothing like my 100 percent all natural birth plan.

My house in Arizona is nothing like the one I’d dreamed of having in Northern California.

And I’ve been okay.

Okay, universe. I get the message.

It’s not really about the details.

We can make the best of difficult times, rising up after we’ve been dragged through the muck. We can surprise ourselves with what it turns out we actually want. And we can rain all over our own parades.

The details are delicious, though.

It’s so satisfying to make a list and check things off. It feels so good that sometimes we’ll even write down the things we’ve already done. And there’s something so soothing about having the who, what, when, and where sorted out.

Best of all is knowing that the whole plan is exactly, perfectly the way you want it. It’s positively intoxicating.

The only trouble is that the details hardly ever turn out as planned.

This whole attachment to details thing is getting harder as time goes on. At a time when I most want to know if we’ll all be okay, I suddenly can’t figure the details out. Maybe I’ve lost my touch, or maybe the plans are getting more complicated.

There are so many more variables and people involved now. Where it was once just me and my cats, there’s now me, my husband, my children, our families, old friends and new friends, employers, clients, school systems, licenses, and a mortgage to consider.

With each new piece comes countless questions. So many, in fact, that I can’t even picture what all of this is going to look like.

That’s got to be okay.

I’m learning to accept that I’ll be okay if I don’t know the details because I know how I want to feel and what I want to leave room for in my life.

As much as we’d like to take credit for them, the details are often things that just present themselves when they’re good and ready to be seen, anyway. They tend to sort themselves out in ways that we never could have planned.

We take one step, then another. We prepare the best we can with what we know, knowing how we want to feel when it’s all said and done. Then we reassess along the way.

Part of me really wants to fight that because it still believes that having all the answers now will guarantee that everything will be okay. Maybe it’s time to start having a little more trust that I’ll find a way to be okay no matter what happens.

The more comfortable I get with letting the details reveal themselves when the time is right, the more aware I am of all the people who want to know the plan right now.

They want to know when you’re visiting or moving back to your hometown or having your next child or finally graduating or asking for that raise.

They ask all kinds of detailed questions about your plan, so much so that it can leave you feeling ashamed for not having figured it out.

I get it, too.

People want to feel closer to you or important or useful. They want to be heard.

Maybe they’re kind of nosy. Or bossy. Or maybe they’re bored.

Maybe they just really care and want to solve what they think is a problem for you.

And maybe they also have a deal with the cosmos that everything will be okay if

I get it because I’ve been them. I’ve interrogated, and I’ve demanded answers. Even after understanding that I can’t have absolute certainty (or control), I’ve been that person squeezing out the details before it’s time.

Understanding is different from knowing deep in your bones that you’ll be okay no matter what.

When you know, you live and breathe it. Instead of seeking control, you seek clarity. Instead of certainty, you seek courage.

When you know the truth, you also know that it’s supposed to be a little scary to look out into the uncertain future. It’s unnerving to say, “Here goes nothing.”

It takes courage to walk into the future knowing that you don’t have all the details nailed down. Your next step may be right, it may be wrong, it may lead you nowhere, and people may think you’re crazy, but you have to take it at some point.

The truth is, no one ever really knows how it’s all going to look, but you probably have a good idea of how you want to feel and what’s most important to you. And if you don’t, maybe that’s why the details are so elusive.

(But all the same, you don’t need the details.)

You don’t need to see the details to trust that you’ll figure them out when the time is right, and you don’t need to see your path to know in your heart that it’s there waiting for you to take that step.

You don’t need to know exactly how every piece will play out to know what the most important pieces are.

And you don’t need absolute certainty to know that you’ll find a way to be okay no matter what happens.

I’m not saying, “Let’s all throw caution to the wind from now until forever.” Make plans, yes, but there’s no need to obsess over the details if the details aren’t clear. Meet planning with flexibility and trust. Be curious about what happens next, not controlling.

So go ahead, daydream, plan, manifest, make a vision board, or whatever calls to you. Just remember to begin from living and breathing the truth: that you will find a way to be okay no matter what.    

I have no idea where I’ll be working five years from now, what our house will look like, what we’ll do on the weekends, if I’ll have lost the baby weight, or if I’ll dye my greys, but I do trust myself to make the call when the time is right.

I don’t know all the when’s, where’s, or even how’s, but I do know how I want to feel and what I hold nearest to my heart.

I want to feel light, energized, and free.

I want to find meaning in my work.

I want to be home in time for dinner.

I want to create space for contemplation and creativity.

I think I’ve had enough of the heaviness that comes from dragging around a lifetime of plans. It’s too much pressure, and even the most carefully made plans might change in the end.

I still make plans, and I’m not throwing my bullet journal away any time soon. I’m just not letting my fear that I won’t be okay or that I’ll choose wrong or that people will disapprove suck the life out of living any more.

So go ahead, universe. Surprise me. I’ll be okay no matter what.

About Leslie Ralph

Leslie writes at A Year of Happy where she combines her years of training and practice as a psychologist with the lessons she’s still learning as a working mom. Each month, she tackles a new topic inspired by life as a mom, positive psychology, and meditation. Stop by to download your free two-minute revitalizing meditation.

See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!
  • badhombrebigdo

    Planning is the ego… planning kills empathy via the illusion of control… details, are, well, useless.

    It’s easier for most to just let go…more and more however technology is creating a world where ppl can obsess about utter bulllshit 24/7. It’s making life unbearable. Ppl refusing to let go… coveting the “deets”.

  • ShaunTheCHB

    What’s cootie catchers? I have never heard of that before. There was a time when I used to like surprises, as a kid. But as I grew older the surprises stopped being fun and were more damaging and hurtful. I suppose experience has taught me to dread surprises and to not give any control away to anything or anyone. Lest more damage be done so to speak.

  • ShaunTheCHB

    Planning is also sensible. You can’t just wing everything in your life. Sure, unexpected things can happen. But say i wanted to go away on a holiday and did not plan for anything at all, I’d end up god knows where without a clue what to do. That is not a good thing. Just wandering into a country or area without a plan is tomfoolery. Planning is not always about ego. It’s also common sense.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    More and more, I’m finding that it’s all about finding that intersection of planning and letting go. Planning is an important skill to have, but so is letting go of our attachment to how it’s all supposed to play out.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Cootie catchers are origami fortune tellers. It was a fun game as a kid.

    I’ve also had my fair share of damaging surprises, but I’ve also learned that I come out okay on the other end. With those kinds of surprises, it’s also our resistance to accepting them and moving on that can add to the pain.

    Planning can absolutely be necessary, but it can also be exhausting to try to hold on to control of everything (and in the end, there’s so much that we can’t control).

  • Really needed this

  • For me it is best to just live a day at a time. You’ll never know what will happen down the road so don’t sweat it!

  • Kate Garrison

    I loved this! Thank you! 🙂

  • anitzkin

    Leslie, I do hope you’ll be okay, despite your insensitivity to a world full of people who aren’t. Sure, you’re going to be okay, probably, because, for one thing, you’re taken care of. You have both an advanced degree and a husband, and have most likely no clue what it’s like to endure long-term poverty, loneliness, or illness, all of which are things not everyone is equipped to transcend. Your faith in the future is an expression of incredible privilege and good fortune. There are people all around you living out their lives in misery with no guarantee of repreieve. And it could happen to you too. I hope it does not. But no, I do not know that it’s all going to be okay. It’s not for a lot of people, you know. Your Faith is the “Jesus loves you” of the extremely fortunate.

  • badhombrebigdo

    Sometimes you have to get lost in order to find yourself.

    Your ego is telling you that you need to plan otherwise you’ll look like a “fool”… why care? Why not just go where you want? Planning is usually what dissuades people..

    And why can’t you “wing” everything in life? Humans used to do precisely that and our brains were bigger than they are now and there weren’t huge problems with things like depression and being miserable.

  • Susan Winslow

    Leslie, I really needed to read this today. So thank you. The walk thru life is tenuous at best . At 58 I can say that life works it’s way out. Maybe not the way I had imagined but as I sit here today I am ” okay”. I have lived thru great times and good times but I have also struggled. I presently have 3 jobs, I am a cancer survivor, I was betrayed at the deepest level and had my life savings stolen as a result. What I no longer do is hope . I find it futile. I have learned that despite what I have planned or not planned life happens and as long as I keep showing up and putting one foot in front of the other I will be okay. Thanks for your time.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    I’m glad this resonated with you!

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Thanks so much for sharing, Susan. I’m glad that this resonated with you. Yes, keep showing up and putting one foot in front of the other.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Thank you, Kate!

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Thanks for sharing, Kalia. One day at a time 🙂

  • sian e lewis

    I think it wise to plan, or nothing will get done. However-keep an open mind as the unexpected will inevitably happen at times.

  • ShaunTheCHB

    Ok, I’ll give another example for you, say I could not cook and just decided “I’m going to wing it” rather than making a plan. The results would be that my house would burn down. That would make me a mighty big fool in that case. The planning would be, reading a cook book, making sure I have a fire extinguisher close by, that sort of thing. I don’t think planning for those sort of things could lead to depression, they could lead to cooking a nice meal though. It’s just about being sensible. That does not dissuade me in any way. I like having my things in order or else I’d get nothing done. Washing clothes, taking out the garbage, paying my bills, all planned in advance so that it gets done.

  • ShaunTheCHB

    Interesting. I never had that game as a kid.

    Oh, I have accepted the things that have happened to me, but I’m not happy about them. I don’t think I can change that. It’s interesting that this article came up because just yesterday my colleges i study with asked me why it is I never smile or look forward to things. I told them “I have no reason to”. I suppose if i got a sign from the universe, a tap on the shoulder to say that good things are coming, I might like surprises again.

  • RT

    Hi Leslie I totally understand where you are coming from about just letting things happen and not having expectations or attachments. I am 56 yo and separated and I can honestly say having to rebuild and restart my life has been extremely overwhelming and stressful. Not having the security I once had in the marriage and doing it alone has really shaken me. But I too constantly was making plans and trying to make sure I was covering every angle so I could have certainty I would be alright. But this constant planning and wanting it to happen was really draining me. I realized I was inflicting more pressure on myself because of so wanting to know I would be okay. But I know I am strong and I know I will be okay. So I am learning to detach. To do what I can and just let what ever is meant to happen and when “be”. It’s not that you don’t plan any more,it’s that you do the work but do not hang on so tight to the outcome. It’s being okay with not knowing. And I am learning to not hang on… Thank you for your sharing and good luck!

  • Kate

    Yes. This here. I was going to say (roughly) the same thing.

    Some of us are 43 years old, and haven’t found our partner in love/life. Some of us are unemployed for reasons beyond our control. Some of us don’t have children because we haven’t found that partner, or because we don’t have enough money to do it on our own. I am, fortunately, college-educated, but that’s not all it takes anymore in this world.

    I read your article hoping that it would be something I could relate to, but all I found was your dreams of Northern California-living were dashed by living in Arizona. Or because the wonderful birth of the baby you got to have with your husband wasn’t natural enough and it took too long.

    I can’t even write anymore because I’m so annoyed with this post. Everything you wrote above is absurd, and it’s a huge slap in the face to people who are just trying to get by.

  • Gill

    Thank you for a great article.
    When you know the truth, you also know that it’s supposed to be a little scary to look out into the uncertain future. It’s unnerving to say, “Here goes nothing.”

    However, my understanding of this one sentence is difference than yours. For me; when you know the truth, you know there is nothing to fear and you also know there is nothing to hope for. Because an uncertain future is the only kind of future possible. It takes trusting the flow of the Universe to say ‘I don’t know’ and still meet each new day with excitement for the unknowable. Enjoy Gill

  • melanie_sakowski

    that was a really good read, thank you. take home point to focus on how I want to feel is huge, bless

  • badhombrebigdo

    Lol, you plan your cooking because you’re afraid of burning your house down…. ahahahahahaha, my friend your honesty reveals your fear…

    Your fear is guiding you… most definitely, and so long as that’s the case, the sweetest meals of all will always elude you….

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Hi anitzkin,

    I agree that there are countless people living in pain and misery, and I practice gratitude for the privileges and good fortune in my life every day. I in no way intend to minimize the suffering of others or imply that no matter what happens, one should be happy about it. I have experienced pain in my life, and I know that healing can be a long journey. In this post, it was my hope to offer some encouragement to those who feel anxious about not knowing all of the details of the future using my own humble life experiences. I do apologize if I caused you any pain with this post.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Hi Kate,

    It sounds like you are in a rough place, and I am sorry to hear that. I in no way intended to minimize any pain that others may be in. I understand that we are all in different places in our life journey, and I feel grateful that painful times in my life (not shared in this particular post) have been counterbalanced by good fortune. I did not intend for the examples I used in this post to be a complaint about what’s happened in my life, simply an example of the little things that we can spend so long planning and feel so attached to.

    I understand that this post did not resonate with you, and I am sorry if it caused you any more pain than you are in. I do sincerely hope that you can find the encouragement you need in this season of your life.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Exactly! Planning is an important skill, but so is keeping an open mind.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    I’m glad that was something you could take away from this article. It’s easy to get so consumed with the details and forget about how we want to feel in the end.

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Well put, Gill! It’s so true and such a challenge sometimes to let go of our attachment to the plans and even the hopes for the future and embrace “I don’t know.”

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Thanks for sharing, RT. It’s so tempting to plan every last detail. Sometimes it goes exactly as planned, and sometimes it goes nothing at all as planned. And when it doesn’t go according to plan, it can be a long way to “okay.” I’m glad that you’ve discovered how strong you are!

  • Kasey

    Kate, Anitzkin, you both come to a sight called “Tiny Buddha” and then take the time to write out pretentious insults? Seems counter-intuitive. She’s clearly using her own experiences to convey the point she’s making, which is relevant to both of the arguments you two are saying are incompatible to her advice. This is absurd, not her post. She wrote a well articulated article with valid and affirming points that anyone could relate to. The purpose is not to relate to her life experience, but to relate to her outlook. Regardless of your circumstance, you can hold this outlook. If you’re homeless and living in poverty, you can uphold this point of view. Simply research “Victor Frankl” and both of your bitter and insensitive claims fall apart.

  • ShaunTheCHB

    You think that’s funny? You think the fact that I want to be sensible and not do something stupid that will cost me everything is funny? Your mockery is insulting.

  • badhombrebigdo

    Calm down… I was laughing, maybe a bit at your expense, but I assure you, I mean no disrespect. I apologize if I overstepped.. I merely was trying to illustrate to you that when you hold onto anything too tight, you get the results that you are trying to avoid anyway….

    Can’t live your life in fear of the fire… the fire comes anyway. Best to just live your life.. and enjoy the war, glow when it does. Can’t stop what’s coming.. sensibility be damned.

  • ShaunTheCHB

    I thank you for apologizing. Trust me my friend, I understand about the fire that comes…a bit too well. I confess that I have a fear, not of encountering it again, but of what it will turn me into. I already carry enough scarring from previous experiences. I really don’t need another flame to scorch me.

  • badhombrebigdo

    not a problem.. I was a bit brash, but I was relaying my thoughts jokingly, a tone that is hard to read in text. At least you’re not afraid to express how you feel… that’s good…

    Ahh, a man with a past, a man with a past… what man is without one eh? The world scorches us all.. and it seems as though there’s little to nothing we can do except let it happen and suffer… or try in some convoluted way to find meaning in that suffering or…OR, not care… it may sound a novel idea…but I urge you to try it… let go… again.. Don’t be self destructive, but stop torturing yourself over the future or plans surrounding it… stop caring so much… pretend at first and then believe that all of this is just a meaningless game… Like you would with dominos or your favorite card game you’d play with a friend. Just stop caring. I assure you, more than likely ‘the house doesn’t burn down’… and even if it does, anything that can be had in this realm can be had again.

    Fire is to be feared… but fire is also a tool.. the first piece of real technology given to man by the god prometheus… lol. And he too suffered because of it eh, but it was still a gift before it was a curse….

  • RT

    And I totally agree Leslie with your comment “When it doesn’t go according to plan, it can be a long way to “okay”,because I feel the same. We use so much energy in hoping,planning,praying or trying to be strong for a positive outcome but this does not mean it will happen. I too struggle with this. Wanting change so badly to happen so that I feel I have my life again and feel happy. But Leslie I learned this from the famous Eckhart Tolle. Suffering is our attachment to an outcome. Wanting for things to happen and be how we want them to be. So I am learning that if I can’t change something or accept it,then I need to detach from the expectation of how I want it to be. So I stop losing so much energy and inflicting more pain or disappointment on myself. Learning to detach and focusing on the present moment. Doing the work,releasing it and loosening MY grip which is causing me to keep hanging on! It’s not easy at all but at list trying is a start in making us feel better through this. Thank you.xo

  • ShaunTheCHB

    I appreciate that you think that. Society seems to do a good job in telling us all that expressing how you feel is a bad thing. To use a quote from a very popular film “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know”. I try not to come off as real morbid or gloomy when commenting though. People don’t want to read about gloom. Understandably so.

    It’s funny, for years I have tried to find some sort of meaning behind the things that happened to me, but to no avail. The only conclusion I could draw was that I don’t want anymore. No more bad things.

    I don ‘t know if I can go about life like that. If I believed that life was a “meaningless game”, I’d jump from a building without a hesitation. I already struggle enough with that sort of thing. Dark thoughts and the like. My biggest fear is that I become so burned and so hardened, that even if good things came finally my way, they would not matter anymore. I’d be like a block of cinder, just empty and going by the numbers through life. Not giving a you know what about anything or anyone at all. I don’t want that. That’s a real bad way to be.

    I’m not sure who Prometheus is….Sounds Greek…Is that a mythological figure?

  • Dr. Leslie Ralph

    Absolutely! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I could talk about this all day 🙂

  • ShaunTheCHB

    Agreed Kasey. I think there has been a great misunderstanding from the two previous posters. They seem to think that this was a universal way of thinking. Just because someone may not have had the exact same experiences does not mean that they don’t know about struggle or setbacks. Life throws bad things at us randomly, some of us are very lucky to pull through them, others fall and never recover. Like you said, the article was about the outlook on life rather than comparison and who’s better than who. I don’t think it was intended as a “slap in the face”. Some have hope that life will get better, some don’t and accept their fate. Some choose to be happy, some choose to be bitter. Some choose to play the cards they are dealt, some choose to fold, while stubborn ones like myself choose to knock on the table until a better card appears and won’t play until it comes.

  • Frazer McLeod

    I actually moved to Spain a couple of years ago on my 22nd birthday. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a job and was scared. I didn’t plan anything other than finding a room to rent. Taking this leap of faith made me be independent, find myself and everything worked out amazingly. I didn’t have a working mobile phone for several weeks so literally got lost all the time (and didn’t know where I was) as I love walking for hours. I eventually would find my way home because I had faith that I would. I would recommend anyone to totally do something unplanned as you’ll be surprised at what amazing opportunities life has to offer!!

  • Shaun, I really hope good things are coming your way. 🙂

  • ShaunTheCHB

    Thank you Laura. That’s kind of you to say.

  • RT

    Me too Leslie and I would be happy to listen! If you ever wish to talk I would be happy to discuss and listen! xo

  • Regina


    Thought this post was helpful in that its good to be reminded that there are moments and times where we must let go too what we hold on to too tightly and realizing that we will be okay will help us.

    There is such a thing as too much planning. Too many details we try to control. Too much work. Too much disappointment. Unrealistic.

    Living life now dealing w/ the cards we get dealt and transforming that into something okay or good is really living.

    Thank you for the article.

  • SkyDriver

    I feel sorry for you and hope you are doing well. However, I think that this philosophy can be applied to your situation as well. The “I don’t really know how it’s going to turn out but I know it’s going to be okay anyways” mentality is really a psychological standing. It’s being okay with not having control, and having positive expectations anyways. You may not have control over your physical situation, but you can trust that your inner well-being will be okay, that you’ll always have peace with yourself, in your mind, if you choose. Faith is the trust in something uncertain.

  • SkyDriver

    Yes, I agree!

    Your problems will always be better than someone else’s problems and worse than others, but it’s how they make you feel and how you react to them that matters. Some people who have it worse off than you still find the will to be grateful and hopeful that life will get better. Like Mohamedou Ould Slahi, removed from his home and family and tortured and sexually abused for something he did not do. By the U.S government. You may think other people’s problems are insignificant, but they are probably significant to them. It all depends on your outlook

  • Dr. Suess

    I feel I’ve gotten lost and overwhelmed from not planning or sticking to the plans for too long. So I’m working on getting back to that….my head is far less clear and organized when I don’t have a plan. It also reflects on all other areas in my life, my home, keeping appts., getting places on time, the list goes on. Not the list I’m referring to above lol

    I very much agree with what you shared:
    “I think it wise to plan, or nothing will get done.” and the rest of your message as well…

    Love the article and the convo! Thank you :O)

  • Jorina

    I hear you loud and clear…Trusting all will be ok! I have no one to turn to for help. Estranged family and my 2 adult children are states away, my eldest an jour away and it effects them too much to hear my stories of what I am facing at this time as they are helpless to help me.
    To some here, I may sound negative but, I am being realistic. I have and still am involved in CBT and grab ANY and ALL of the positive self-help I can and put it into action. My past story is very long and filled with trauma including a 12 year abusive marraige which I survived through and after-barely. My children were very young then. Also, worked for a very large global company who led me with a carrot on a string until they used me up and no longer needed me. Years of being blind to this (and much, much company bullying), I finally cracked in 2012, took a 12 week unpaid LOA and never returned. That was 2012.
    In hurting my body so badly through years of hard labor, I was forced to leave the work force of 43 years. I sent at least 200 resumes hearing back from zero, even worked with the Dept of Labor and Job Core.
    Today, I live in a rental home in which the landlord passed away, he had no family. The property is in the end stage of foreclosure. I am on my 3rd year of hunting for a safe decent not fancy and simple place to live. I have made it on one wait list which I have 1-2 more years to come to the top. I have exhausted every avenue, even Congress and Senate. The reality has shown itself that there is no where to go. So-I went with that. I began watching youtube’s of how to live out of an SUV (the one plus I do have-I own it outright!). Over the past year I have ordered everything I will need to survive from my vehicle. It is my hope that something will come or I will find long-term shelter during this time. SO, with no other resources, nor family, I have adopted the idea that this will be my next adventure, the state and or country will be my home and my vehicle will be my portable bedroom. I am scared, but ready, I am alone but trust and keep my faith first and formost. I am in dis-belief yet belief that this can even be happening. Everything is uncertain except the fact that I will be homeless in about 45 days so the only thing left to do is prepare which is what I’m doing. Got a storage unit, and am selling/donating what little I do have and throwing the towel “up” not in. The 2 little people in my life holding me in my current state are my grandson, 4 and my granddaughter 2-1/2. I have babysat them both since birth and we have such a strong bond I can not bring myself to leave them (yet!). Although they are only an hour away, living with them is absolutely not an option-not at all.
    My journals are full, my head is exhausted from self-talk yet, these are the two things I will not give up because it keeps me going day to day.
    Somehow I know this will eventually take me to a resolve. The part I am currently accepting now is my upcoming “adventure” being unavoidable. I also leave the door ajar because anything can happen in the next minute, hour, day, week etc. That’s my good news to myself! The other is that I am a humanitarian. I volunteer at an assisted living home and a local food bank. Haven’t braved up enough yet to share my situation, I just don’t know anyone well enough…yet. Perhaps I am meant to live the “un-norm” way accordint to conditioned society. I always was a country and mountain girl!
    In learning that the few people in my world become to uncomfortable when I do talk about my situation and offer the good old “everything will work out”, “keep a positive attitude”, “oh-come on-you’re not going to be homeless” and on we go to a superficial conversation. I’ve learned to stiffle myself. Even 3 local churches have nothing to suggest.
    At the beginning, middle and end of my everyday, I do believe this is happening for a reason, I have always believed in that. So I am trusting that and it keeps me going.
    One section of my journaling is “how it could be worse” and “reasons it may, can, and will be better”.
    If it’s ok, I’d like to update now and then. Hopefully this story will be helpful to another in some way! 🙂

  • Monica D

    Omg I really needed to read this right now! Thank you 🙂

  • Monica D

    Detailing and planning my up and coming move to go out on the road is killing the joy. When I was younger I packed a back pack caught a train and got a job I loved, for a while, then I moved on, I travelled around Mexico and China, my memories of how I was in the lead up are just of excitement, sometimes I had a rough outline, usually of where I would land then let it flow from there. Now, 30 years later and I’m neurotic yet craving the adventure, so far it’s just caused a stomachache, sleepless nights and panic attacks. I’ve got four weeks to throw off this anxiety and recapture the “old me”.

  • Monica D

    I can relate to what you’re saying here. When I didn’t detail and plan in the past I just enjoyed myself and dealt with challenges as they arose, I lived in the present, I thought I’d grow more confident with age. I’m going to think about what you’ve written here as your comments are very thought provoking thank you.

  • Meredith Fitzherbert

    How to Trust That You’ll be ok, Part II – All of my 61 years, I’ve had the trust that I’d be ok. What is one to think when one day your life changes so completely that your trust in having any kind of planned future or even a future at all just vaporizes? I had been on the brink of having my own business after working for other’s for years. Most everything was in place – poof! Four years ago I was told out of the blue that I would have to start dialysis and start waiting for a kidney transplant. All of my personal goals have stalled. I’ve been on hold for years now, I’m just a goldfish suspended in a tank going nowhere, due to the utter lack of energy this disease causes and the intensive time involved in 25 hrs./wk. of dialysis and keeping up w/ added appointments. One of my ‘fun’ life goals had been to at least live to 100, I knew I could do it. Well joke on me!! It effects every aspect of my life, nothing is as it was. From only wearing sleeves that hide the ugly fistula, the restrictive diet, knowing that my very life is dependent upon electricity now, to staying near home in case I ever get that ‘call’, or maybe never. We haven’t had a vacation in years, also not good. After chores my hobbies just sit, the day isn’t long enough. I can’t even plan my financial future w/ the exhorbidant costs and then there are the meds and their costs. I was very proactive saying what I wanted/needed all before the Dr. suggested things. I set up the fistula surgery, requested meds when they became necessary and decided to do my own home dialysis right off the bat. NXStage has been great and I’m very grateful to my support teams and my husband.
    So what does one do when they realize they aren’t ‘ok’ any longer and never will be again? That possibly, any meaningful goal will just never happen again? It is a very tough and wearing existence.

  • Rachel Schroeder

    Hi Dr. Ralph,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write an article like this! I am a compulsive planner who is in limbo as I wait to hear back from psychology graduate programs. This is a time in my life that I have never felt more uncertain, and this article was just what I needed to read to help relax and realize that no matter what school, if any, accept me, I will also be okay.

    Thank you again!

  • Meenakshi Chaudhary

    Very beautifully and thoughtfully written piece Leslie. Often times, setbacks in life force us to stop focusing on the details and start honoring the present moment by being authentic and putting our own needs first. I feel we all want peace and love above everything else in our lives, but we search for it in different ways. I’m doing a lot of contemplation these days because my circumstances have necessitated me to do so, but I’m truly grateful for these times for they are letting me dig deeper and truly understand what makes me happy and why I should choose my own happiness instead of worrying about what others will think. Yours insights are profound. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I wish you the best of everything in life