When You Don’t Know What Comes Next

March 24, 2020

“I don’t know how to do this next part.”

It’s something I was often found whispering to myself or others as I worked on healing from the grief and trauma that stole me from myself. Something I uttered with a small sense of defeat and total exhaustion, before taking a deep breath and leaning in.

Just because we don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean we don’t do it.

Just because we don’t know where to start doesn’t mean we don’t start.

Just because we’re terrified doesn’t mean we stay stuck and stalled out.

These days I find myself quietly whispering the same thing. Scribbling it in my morning pages as I ponder what comes next.

“I don’t know how to do this next part.”⁣
“I don’t know what happens now.”

Yet, as always, I will do the only thing there really ever is to do: I will take a deep breath, focus all my energy, and lean in. I will do what’s in front of me in each moment. I will be as present as I can as I engage with myself, my work, my people, and the world around me.

Because if rising up and coming back from grief, trauma, PTSD, and abuse has taught me anything, it’s that healing, growth and doing the seemingly impossible require all the presence and self-awareness you can muster. It’s essential, really. When you lean into the unknown—facing directly into the terror and discomfort—you need all of yourself. You need presence, awareness, intuition, and discernment to navigate each moment as it comes. Especially when it feels like everything is burning to the ground around you. When everything known and familiar has fallen away.

We don’t have to know how to do this.⁣
We just have to do it.

One moment at a time, starting with what’s in front of you. Do the work you have to do today. Talk to your family and friends. Go for a walk or hike. Buy the bread. Send the emails. Stay aware and informed when there are updates, but keep facing into each new moment as it comes.

We don’t have to know what comes next.⁣
We just have to show up fully.


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