Certainty in Uncertain Times

There is a lot of unrest and uncertainty in the world. The pain is exceptionally great because certainty is one of our fundamental human needs; it is natural to feel intense panic and fear when we lose our mooring. We often look to the outside world for reassurance, a person or position to tether ourselves to again. Yet we may feel we have little control over the externals, so we risk becoming victims of circumstance or helpless bystanders.

What I’ve come to see is that in a world (or life) we can’t always control, we can find reservoirs of certainty within ourselves. We can counter not-knowing with a surety that comes from self knowledge, self trust and personal accountability. In uncertain times, we must find places where certainty takes the form of choice. I can choose how I show up to the world and the people around me — with kindness, confidence and generosity. I can choose how I walk into a room and the way I respond to others. I can remember the ferocity of my desires, the certainty of my beating heart. The realness of my flesh, in this moment now. I can believe in the value of my work, my worthiness, and our shared deservingness of love.

Certainty, though, is not an excuse for self righteousness; it is an invitation to remember your power, find your footing and aim towards the light. Uncertain times are an opportunity to invest even MORE of ourselves into the things we know help us heal — love, belonging, purpose, connection. These are fundamental human needs, too. In uncertain times, I remember my self-agency and the small ways in which I can make the soluble solid. Uncertainty calls me to lengthen and stretch into the best version of myself I can be. Even when doubt arises, even when a storm is raging. Those landscapes are always within me.

Allyn RippinComment