Accepting Uncertainty and Waiting for When the Time Is Right

December 20, 2016


There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering.

We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources.

Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction. Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse.

It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none.

While waiting for direction, we do not have to put our life on hold. Let go of anxiety and enjoy life. Relax. Do something fun. Enjoy the love and beauty in your life. Accomplish small tasks. They may have nothing to do with solving the problem, or finding direction, but this is what we can do in the interim.

Clarity will come. The next step will present itself. Indecision, inactivity, and lack of direction will not last forever.

Today, I will accept my circumstances even if I lack direction and insight. I will remember to do things that make myself and others feel good during those times. I will trust that clarity will come of its own accord.

From the desk of Melody Beattie
Originally posted December 7, 2014

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  • May1959

    Thank you for your words of wisdom.
    I am there, that place of uncertainty and have been for a while. Anxiety is high and am having difficult breathing.
    I do know that alcohol or drugs are not the answer, tried that!
    Today I will get some Christmas wrapping done and reach out to a friend.

    • Sounds like an excellent idea. Create the best day that you can. Best, Melody Beattie

  • Ken Tuvman

    Thank You, Melody! Glad the website is reborn – missed you and the great content. Re: uncertainty – my sponsor taught me to “trust” my Higher Power to trust that He knows what’s best and that by being patient will set me on the right path.

  • Myra Ross

    My daughter cited Co-dependent No More during a recent monologue severing our relationship. As an alcoholic and AA member for 35 years, my behaviour before and after my epiphany demonstrated that I was not only sober but healthier over the decades and many Step series’. However, as a custodial parent who was committed to my daughter having a relationship with her father, I entered a joint custody arrangement. Her father has demonstrated disrespect and disdain for me as the mother of his daughter from the beginning, which was the greatest challenge of 18 years, even moreso than the financial insecurity, the frustration and anxiety and the fatigue. I am proud that my daughter has called me on my “abusiveness” as a parent because she felt she was my caretaker while growing up. And it only took a few hours for me to recognize that I played the same role in my family of origin with my violent alcoholic father and hard-working mother who remained bitter and resentful until her death. My daughter’s father is the “hero” in his alcoholic family of origin and he’s always ridiculed my membership in AA, even though his father died drunk. So I’m proud of my daughter for recognizing her co-dependency and helping me to become aware of mine. I’m going to CODA and I going to pick up your book right now. I looked through your other book titles, but I don’t see any that address the estranged parent and I would like to know why you don’t revisit the intergenerational aspect of co-dependency and write a book with the purpose of helping mothers/fathers such as myself to get from total estrangement to building a healthier Parent/Adult relationship. Thank you for Codependent No More and I hope to learn you either have or shall write a follow-on the topic I’ve raised.