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Knowing what to do even when you don’t

Andrew Juan Burgos

Trust by artiswolf

“In trust, love will show the way.” Ditte Ruderman

Here’s the truth: I’m feeling stuck, not knowing what to do.

About this circumstance, about that feeling. About the big things and the small things.

About any thing.

To be honest, even the smallest, most insignificant thing can take on an overwhelming largesse when I don’t know what to do about it.  This state of “not knowing what to do” makes a mess of my mind, cluttering it with small things.

This is not new. Not knowing what to do is a particular and well-practiced talent of mine. One that keeps me stuck perseverating.  (I even been known to juggle multiple “not knowing what-shall-I-do’s” simultaneously…)

For example, at the moment I don’t know whether to dive more deeply into the unknown of a new and amazingly wonderful relationship I am in.   And if I do, will I lose myself?  Will I disappear altogether?  Or be able to remain grounded and true to who I am?

I don’t know whether to look at other “bridge job” opportunities. And if I do, when should I start looking? What about all of the offers that will flood through the door the minute I say yes to one?

I don’t know whether to start my exercise routine tomorrow. Or today. Or next week. Or not at all.

I don’t know whether to call my therapist/my girlfriends or ride this one out on my own.

I don’t know what is best.  I don’t know what is right. I don’t know what I want to do.

Do you know what else I don’t know?

I don’t always know what to do about it…

And whenever I feel like this (which happens on occasion), I find myself no longer knowing what to do about things I used to know what to do about before. Things I had decided upon, things I felt excited and sure about before, now feel uncertain and unclear. Even though the decisions felt right the moment I made them.

And my brain turns on to a familiar station:  Radio F*ck You.  It blares obnoxious, self-deprecating and doubt-producing thoughts: “What if I the initial choice I made was the wrong one?”  “What if I acted on impulse and didn’t think it all through properly?” “What if I mess this one up, too?”

Radio F*ck You reminds me of all the possibilities that exist that I will never know of because I chose not to take them – and I find myself faltering, tripping, stumbling, questioning what seemed like a perfectly respectable decision in the first place.

This doubt, this worry, this anxiety, this not knowing, it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t just stick to the thing I’m not certain about. It finds tiny fissures and leaks, seeping into every other thought.  Rather than feeling wobbly about one thing or one decision in particular, I feel anxious, uncertain, and worried altogether.  And I loose track of where it began.

It weighs upon chest, tightens my heart, constricts my throat. It feels like trudging through mud laced with regret, layered with overtones of panic, flowing with an undercurrent of fear. It feels restrictive and tight and scary.

It is not my favorite state of mind….and I don’t sometimes even know I am in deep until the discomfort becomes incredibly acute, the pain too sharp to bear.   Once I have an awareness that I’ve come to that point, I recognize I must do something.  Anything. 

How to know what to do when you don’t know what to do?  Sorry.  I don’t have a one-size-fits all answer on that one.

Other than to find ways to reduce the worry so that you no longer feel worried. To reduce the anxiety so that you no longer feel anxious. To accept that there is no quick fix, magic pill, overnight solution – except your desire to find peace and to connect to your community.

But you can…

Breathe. Feel beyond the worry.  Feel the answer rather than hopping on your own mind’s hamster wheel.

Be gentle with yourself.  Accept the decision you made.  You can change course later.

Surrender and let go.  Things flow more easily when you do.


Who knows what will happen? Who knows how you will feel about any of it?  You cannot know whether the decision you make was any better or worse than any other decision you could have made because you will only experience the path you chose.

Respond with what you know, with how you feel, right here and right now.  You don’t need to know how to do that; You just need to allow it to happen. You just need to choose and do.

And, although I still don’t know what to do, what the “right” thing is, that’s alright because I know what the wrong thing is – to stay at a standstill.

Trust – and know this: once you will, love will guide your way through.

Because it will.

Stay inspired,


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