Staying Present During Uncertainty

Aaron PotratzBlogLeave a Comment

It is becoming more frequent over the last several months for people to come into my counseling clinic expressing anxiety over the uncertainty of the future. There are so many things we do not know about what is going to happen, whether it’s the containment of the coronavirus, reopening of schools and businesses, or some return to normal life – whatever that means. Grasping for some certainty about the future is a natural and common reaction many of us have had recently.

Autumn trees with golden autumn foliage in sunny autumn September park lit by sunshine in Clackamas, OR. You can get help for anxiety in Hillsboro, OR. Staying present and having a practice of mindfulness in Oregon can be hard. You can get online therapy in Oregon with a Christian counselor from Clackamas, OR and HIllsboro, OR for eastside or westside counseling!

Certainty about the future gives us a sense of control because we believe we know what is going to happen. We make plans and stick to schedules, then feel like the future has some definition to it that we’ve been a part of creating.

The reality, though, is that we’re never truly in control of the future. If there was any year to teach us that, it would 2020. It has brought so much uncertainty and revealed to all of us how little control we actually have over our lives, circumstances, and the future. How, then, can we live with this jarring reality that our illusion of control was just that – an illusion?

Let It Go

The first thing I have found myself saying to people (including myself) repeatedly is to let go of outcomes. Detach yourself from what you want the future to be or how you want things to go. It’s okay to have some expectations but to hold them loosely. Detaching from outcomes involves letting the future define itself while you focus on the present moment.

An interesting thing happens when we focus too much on the future. We miss the right-here-right-now, present moment. We miss what’s right in front of us.

Black and White Portrait of African American Husband Wife on white background. Staying present and practicing mindfulness in Oregon is easier when you can focus on what is important and what is in front of you. Get help for anxiety treatment with online therapy in Oregon here.

It can be scary to let go of the future. Leaving that up to life to unfold without our intervening feels very helpless, especially for us control freaks. Trusting God to know and have good purposes for the future is such a challenge, and requires…faith!

However, when you allow yourself to not be in control, reorient yourself so that God is in control of life and the future, and accept what you do have control over, you find peace. This is how life was intended to be. Letting go of what is not ours to control is a liberating experience once you get beyond the feelings of fear and insecurity. Trust me, though, you do have to work through those challenging feelings to get to peace.

Look Down

The second part of the equation, after letting go of the future, is to look down at your own feet. Focus your attention on the ground right in front of you and where your very next step or two will be. This may seem simple but it can be hard.

What you do have control over is where your feet go next. Where is the stable ground in front of you where you can stand securely? You may not know where that path leads, but for now, that doesn’t have to matter. Knowing where it leads may not be yours to know.

Hiking boots on a log close up. In order to keep staying present and practicing mindfulness in Oregon, you have to focus on what is in front of you. This can help with anxiety, stress and overwhelm. A Christian counselor in Clackamas, OR and Hillsboro, OR can help you with online therapy in Oregon here.

When you focus on what’s right in front of you, you begin to see the resources and needs you have inside. You can find great relief in not knowing or needing to know the future, and in taking control of what you actually have power over.

The present moment is all you really have control over. What you say and do impacts the very moment you’re in, shifting it around and affecting the people near you. This isn’t the same as controlling things or manipulating someone; that is closely related to the desired outcome. When you focus on your actions in the present moment but detached from outcomes, you merely influence the outcome but hold acceptance for the future to be something you might not want.

If that happens, remain focused on the present moment and work through the feelings that come up. If you do this well, you will find acceptance for life on life’s terms.


Our Clackamas and Hillsboro based counselors are excited to work with you, wherever you are in Oregon. Anxiety, stress, trauma, depression, and conflict do not have to rule your life. We can help you get back on track in a way that aligns with your faith and values. When you are ready to start online Christian counseling in Oregon, follow these simple steps:

  1. Learn about our therapy team in Hillsboro and our caring counselors in Clackamas
  2. Schedule an appointment with your preferred therapist, or contact us with questions
  3. Begin feeling more calm, confident, and peaceful, from the comfort of your home.


No matter what you want to cover in online therapy, we know that you may have more concerns to talk about. Or, you might know someone else who does. If you are in Clackamas, Happy Valley, Damascus, or Hillsboro, we can help you in person at one of our comfortable therapy clinicsChristian counseling is the cornerstone of our approach to therapy. Not only do we see adults, but children in counseling too. We also work with depression treatmentanxiety therapytrauma therapy and PTSD treatmentrelationship issuesmarriage problems, and postpartum counseling. No matter where you are in the state, we can provide the support you need. Once you’re ready to start, we’re ready to meet you. Let’s connect!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *