I used to be (and still am) obsessed with certainty. I always felt that certainty was going to be my savior, the place where I wanted to be and the where I wanted to stay. But if anything, certainty is a very illusive creature that might pay me a visit every now and then, but never stays for too long.
And my deep need to hold on to it was because I couldn’t stand uncertainty. I would rather chase certainty in the darkest and creepiest corners of my mind than surrender to uncertainty. This got really out of control a couple of months ago, where I felt it was better to hold on with both hands to the belief that something awful was going to happen than to find myself in the terrifying place of embracing uncertainty. But the truth is, that when holding on to certainty hurts deeper than uncertainty, we are being self-abusive.
I was holding on to certainties given to me by other people. I was taking their certainty for mine. I lost touch with my truth and I wasn’t willing to let it go. I went all in with this. I was hurting. I was trying to keep certainty close even when it hurt and even when it was draining my energy, my creativity, my trust and my hope.
One day, after spending the day spinning my anxious thoughts, I started making myself questions. “What if this is not completely true?”, “How could this be not completely true?” “How could this be different for different people?”, “Why do I want to be sure of this?”, “Where does this need for certainty come from?”.
And BELIEVE ME: There is nothing more powerful in the world than asking yourself the right questions.
I realized I had been hooked to this certainty because I wanted to keep a connection with other people who believed the same. Trading certainty for connection can be a very painful game. Holding on to an idea that causes emotional pain for the sake of belonging and connection is devastating. By holding on to people who seem to provide us with a certainty that aches because we rather do that than embrace uncertainty is a great disservice to ourselves.
The moment I created some space between me and the certainty that I had been holding to my chest so tight, I realized that uncertainty was not out to get me, but rather to bless me.
Uncertainty has a blessing. A gold nugget. Something certainty will never have.
And that is POSSIBILITY!
I used to see uncertainty as a void where nothingness prevailed.
Now, I’m starting to see how it’s not nothingness, but “everythingness”.
Uncertainty is made of possibilities. All of them. Millions of different outcomes, different scenarios, different beliefs, different actions, different reactions, different directions.
Suddenly certainty seemed small and limiting. Tuning into uncertainty from this perspective felt generous to my soul. It felt like I owed myself to trust uncertainty. It’s scary but it’s benevolent because, unlike certainty, if the thing I wanted the most doesn’t happen, I won’t fall from the heights of my own expectations with no parachute. I won’t bruise my psyche. I won’t break into a million pieces. Certainty will tell me that I’m done and there is nothing else I can do, while uncertainty always keeps the doors open. Uncertainty will always have another option.
Uncertainty comes with discomfort because of the attachment we have to certainty. It feels strange to suddenly walk stripped from the things we were holding on so tight. So yes, it’s going to feel as uncomfortable as if we now decide to go out on the street naked. But there is nothing more liberating than dropping the suffocating tightness of our own limitations and dare to explore the realm of possibilities that were not available to us before.