As I anticipate our move to Seattle and the birth of our little boy, I am confronted with a lot of unknowns. All I can really do to prepare is to make space for uncertainty and change and to hold my expectations more lightly. This passage from Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen speaks to one of the ways we try to control uncertainty: creating labels.
“A label is a mask life wears. We put labels on life all the time ‘right, wrong, success, failure, lucky, unlucky.’ These may be as limiting a way of seeing things as ‘diabetic, epileptic, manic-depressive, or even invalid.’ Labeling sets up an expectation of life that is often so compelling that we can no longer see things as they really are. This expectation often gives a false sense of familiarity towards something that is really new and unprecedented. We are in relationship with our expectations and not with life itself.
We may need to take our labels and even our experts far more lightly. Like a diagnosis, a label is an attempt to control and manage uncertainty. It may allow us the security and comfort of mental closure and encourage us not to think about things again but life never comes through closure. Life is a process, even mystery. Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life there may be no security but only adventure.”
Last Four Classes at Avalon!
This is also my last week teaching at Avalon (for the time being, at least). I hope to see you in one of my four classes this week. You can check out my schedule here.