Uncertain About Certainty

Life is full of uncertainty; the only thing certain is change.

One part of us knows that; the other part craves certainty.  Certainty gives us an anchor when life gets rough, a firm piece of ground to take off from, a comfortable place to come back to.

Maybe certainty is like the skeleton of a story (thanks, Viki), the strong elements that we use to fix everything else against.  But then:  where do we find it?  Within ourselves?  Outside ourselves?  Some combination of the two?

If it is in ourselves, is it in the strength we build when coping with challenges, in remembered joy, in focusing on hope, in the decisions we make?   Can we build our certainties on what we learn as we go through life, with all its changes, or is there something at the heart of ourselves which doesn’t change?

If we find our certainties outside ourselves, how do we find them?  How do we come to trust that they are true?

I suspect we all find our own ways, our own tools.  For me, an important part of living with uncertainty is being aware, open to new experiences, observing and learning.  I feel certain that being aware gives me the best chance of responding well.

When I think about it, I realize that this is probably because I learned  that kind of awareness early, and now I know how much it helps me when I am traveling on the sea or learning my way around new places.   It is a learned certainty that helps me deal with the uncertainties of new situations.

And it is only one kind of certainty.  I wonder – what are the certainties in your life?   How did you come to them?  Do you think they will change?


A Stairway to Heaven


3 responses to “Uncertain About Certainty

  1. I find certainties are easiest within yourself. You can nearly always be certain of your ethics and morality.

    What exactly in the outside world are you uncertain of?

    • Margaret Mair

      I suppose, in one sense, the easy answer would be: events. Specifically, events which have an unforeseen and inescapable impact on life, thereby challenging the certainty with which you approach life in general. For instance, the Gulf Gusher and its impact on all who live in the areas affected.
      And in another, not as easy: things we learn from others, which would include at least some aspects of our ethics and morality, wouldn’t it?

      • Well I don’t think any of us will be able to predict the future 🙂

        I see what you mean though, going into life without knowing or preparing yourself for the unexpected. But we can only be as certain as we can be, I suppose.

        I don’t disagree. Certainly ethics and morality can change. But for the day-to-day life we lead, I find these are the things I rely upon most as they aren’t cgenerally things that can change in an instant. To use an age old phrase, “Listen to your heart”.

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