One of the core problems of the human condition is the absolute uncertainty of everyday life. The paradox of our type of consciousness is that we know that we cannot control the future but we also know that there is a future. Much of our current effort is an attempt to create insurance for our future well-being. We educate ourselves so that we can have good jobs, be thoughtful about our lives, and understand what is going on around us. We have some picture of a better future, but no guarantees about it.
The anxiety of uncertainty moves people to look for ways to control what happens. Many systems of thought address this problem. What activity will lead us to a more stable, predictable, happy future? Should we visualize, pray, eat healthier, exercise more, study more? It is difficult to accept the reality that there is no answer, no guarantees. We cannot control everything. We have our own inner resources and our relationships with the people we care for. The inner structure that might be a self, or a set of selves, or a sense of stability, or a feeling about our own value in the world, that inner structure, is what we own and can build. That inner experience of “what is feels like to be me” can see us through hard times, connect us to other people, and allow us to appreciate the pleasures of our lives. First we have to build it.
Our inner experience is not built alone. We need another person to reflect to us that which we cannot see ourselves. We need a relationship as a dynamic activity within which to experience ourselves, see ourselves, and choose our direction. Most importantly, that person needs to be trustworthy, needs to have some sense of what we are trying to do, and needs to be committed to helping us grow. Therapy is a very good place to find that person and that activity.