Welcome to Rafan House’s September newsletter!
In this newsletter, look out for:
– a short article: Creating certainty – “the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley” – but we plan nevertheless. We look at how to create short-term certainty in an uncertain world.
– a link to our recently-published book, The Cambridge Code – One simple test to uncover who you are.
|Creating certainty in an uncertain world
Forever having hopes dashed can be demoralising. Perhaps instead we might try creating short-term certainties, and finding joy there.
|In 1789, writing to the French physicist Jean-Baptiste le Roy, Benjamin Franklin said, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And it remains true, especially now. The uncertainty faced by families going through break-ups or changes of work patterns can lead to anxiety and anger at the lack of control over our destinies.
But we are a planning species, uncomfortable with uncertainty. We plan our holidays, sometimes years ahead; we plan the big family milestone celebrations; we plan our retirement. We relentlessly look ahead and dream – and sometimes, our plans come to fruition. Covid is teaching us a hard lesson, however – that in reality, nothing is certain and we must learn to deal with that, at least for now. And now is all that IS certain. And that gives us an opportunity. We have the opportunity to focus instead on the present, and look for our joy in the now.
What shape might that take? That’s up to you – it could be an impromptu coffee with a friend, or flying a kite with your child, or an ice-cream by the water with your partner, or planting some bulbs for Christmas gifts. Indeed, anything which gives you pleasure and does not depend on too many external factors. We need that sense of having made good use of our time, though fallow periods of inactivity are also useful. They feed our creativity, rest our minds and allow us to properly engage with the here and now, rather than always racing after what is coming down the line.
Concentrating on this kind of living will eventually build a better internal structure of certainty within uncertainty – a real triumph of hope over experience. You are controlling the factors which are within your control, and the rest must take care of itself for a while.
That ability to live in the moment and find pleasure there is priceless. It makes us more resilient in a very real sense, more able to cope with what life throws at us. Sometimes it is difficult to find that resilience in ourselves. Instead, we punish ourselves, or those around us. When the feeling of being unable to control circumstances leads to anxiety and anger, it can help to have a therapeutic conversation. We can learn not just to live with uncertainty but to find the benefit in it. Our greatest challenge will be to hold on to that benefit in uncertainty – that ‘nowness’ – when external circumstances become more predictable.
|We are now offering psychotherapeutic consultations online – and they are proving to be very accessible and effective, especially for families. We are also holding workshops online for corporates, schools and other organisations, helping people negotiate a very different set of challenges.
If we can help, call us: 0203 542 9935, or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more information about us at www.rafanhouse.com.
We’re here to help.
Dr Emma Loveridge