Life shifts under our feet unexpectedly.
Whatever we are attached to can be torn from our grip. The pain is not from letting go—it’s the free falling uncertainty.
Will we survive this?
Surely, the ground is our last crushing sight—or we are swallowed up by unfathomable darkness.
Uncertainty is the only certainty.
Our brains are designed to look for patterns—to calculate folly, to cling to the known. Solid and predictable become barriers against uncertain tides, but also the weight of the anchors when we sink.
Freedom comes when we no longer pretend to hold life by a chain, or even a thread. Freedom comes when we see that we are the thread.
We are the weavers of every moment, including this one now. What we focus on grows. We can move beyond, over and around, no matter what the tides bring. Freedom flows when we stop looking beyond this moment for what is already here, within us.
Letting go of all the plans, rules, concepts and beliefs that wrap us in a mirage of devotion is profound heresy. Few choose to do this on their own. Most end up here by force. Everything falls apart and suddenly you are spit out of the certainty machine.
Only in the chasm of oblivion, where the decayed and broken illusions drop away, are you free to meet your naked self—your soul. In the vast, terrifying abyss of unknown is the center of your compass, the due north of your soul, your very own riptide.
Alan Watts wrote about this in the Wisdom of Insecurity:
“The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the ‘I’ out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realization that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate ‘I’ or mind can be found. To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, ‘I am listening to this music,’ you are not listening.”
Each moment, we are different from the last in every molecule.
Who you were last year—or ten years ago—is a story filled with ashes of transformation. We move through our experiences, taking on pieces and letting go of others. Like our cells regenerating every 30 days, much of who we are is an unconscious retelling of patterns and habits. Our memories cling to our DNA codes like echoes of stories playing on scratched vinyl. The skips become familiar beats that we never question and even grow fond of. Until one day, maybe we hear the original song, free of distortions. And suddenly, the rules—your rules—can change.
Being unmoored—by choice, circumstance or catastrophe—is certainly a difficult part of life.
But, what if falling out of your reality, story or challenges is like skydiving?
What if diving straight into it—fully present and parachute packed—is the best way to break through the barriers between you and your best life?
Author: L. Peterson
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Author’s own.