Lesson #62: The gift of certainty
Certainty clears the path for what you desire — Gabby Bernstein
Stepping into certainty
It was January 1 a couple of years ago .. the start of 2020 .. that the word ‘certain’ came to me as a guiding word for my year. The feeling that accompanied the word was a sense of grounded knowing that sat in my chest and not my head. Certainty was something I wanted to call in. You see, certainty was something I’ve avoided .. preferring to be open to all possibilities and not exclude any. Whereas certainty felt dismissive, conceited, ignorant.
As I wrote the above I had the inkling of where my judgement of certainty came from .. that being my mother’s sense of confidence and certainty where I didn’t believe it was valid.
So I chose to embrace uncertainty. I wanted to believe that uncertainty was a good thing — to be comfortable with the floating, groundless possibilities that lay beyond the seen or known. I was a curious child and I didn’t believe that there was just one answer to anything. I wanted to know all the answers. I wanted to embrace the expansive possibilities and not a box of limited knowing that refused to look any further.
What is certainty?
The word certain comes from the Latin certānus, cert(us) “sure, settled” (cer- base of cernere “to decide” + -tus past participle suffix) + -ānus-an
So, to be certain suggests that a decision has been made and a grounded confidence the result. Decisions, by definition, imply a cutting off of options (Latin dēcīdere literally, to cut off).
The origins of confusion
Steeped in a Roman Catholic schooling that wanted me to embrace the unknowable with a blind faith, and a mother who seemed to harbour no sense of doubt, I learned to stay eternally open to alternative views to explain the total confusion I felt towards life.
I wallowed in uncertainty while drawn, with a sense of fascination, to people who displayed certainty and confidence — usually teachers. I was prime fodder for the likes of cults and gurus who confident guided the way through the unknown with no shred of doubt. I was, it must be said, prime fodder for narcissists.
The slipping of the veil
It’s only in the past year, after getting swept up by yet another confident teacher who, at least in public, declared her unwavering views with passionate confidence, that the veil started to slip and I started to see this teacher not as a god(dess) but as a fallible human. I don’t love her any less, but finally I can take the lessons I need while honouring my own feelings, thoughts and needs.
Honouring the crone
It seems I have reached that time I have looked forward to for so long. On my incessant quest for knowledge and understanding, I have looked forward to getting to the stage (which I though of as an ‘old woman’) where I could finally understand. And while I don’t see myself as ‘old’, I do have fifty years of experience behind me and am shifting into a new phase of life. And finally, I feel I can step out of the veil of unknowing and take a stand on what I believe.
The irony of confidence
Years ago I heard a quote that stuck with me. It was one scientist talking about another:
I wish I was as confident of anything, as he is of everything.
I was right there with the first scientist — doubtful of everything and somewhat judging/jealous/resentful of the overly confident. I was spurred on by my desire to understand more, to keep learning.
But perhaps all that was needed was .. a decision. To take a stand.
Where do our values come from?
Ultimately all this speaks to my top value — curiosity.
My constant curiosity has been both a blessing and a curse.
A blessing: Never bored. Always learning. Mentally active.
A curse: Never settling. Never satisfied. Always wondering. 51 years old and still contemplating the meaning of life and my place in it.
I’m finally ready to settle
Well, maybe not ‘settle’ but ‘be settled’. I’m ready for a clear path that takes me to a true sense of meaning and contribution for my life. I’m ready for the lessons that certainty can offer. I’m ready to hang my shingle, to make my offers and to find my place of contribution in this world.
Certainty clears the path for what you desire
One thing I was certain about
For my life until now, I was certain I wanted to know more, to understand more, to see life and the world from every possible perspective.
“If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there.” — Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
I’ve almost driven myself crazy in my wandering (and wondering). And my accumulation of knowledge and experiences, though broad, has also been limited. After all, we can only ever scratch the surface of all knowing. And also, according to Ram Dass, I already know everything.
The path to certainty
And so I find myself at this crossroads, ready to put a stake in the ground and to set a course of action that can lead me to what I desire. And with that intention I will expand on this lesson from Gabby Bernstein, who says:
When you let yourself dream big dreams, and learn to rely on your inner wisdom, you’ll receive the gift of certainty.
The path to certainty requires a profound desire to be free from fear.
I want to unpack that last sentence because it’s twisting my brain in all sorts of way. So .. my desire must be ‘to be free from fear’.
To be free from fear, in my understanding, means to be aligned with spirit.
Okay .. aligned with spirit, releasing the fears of ego, it’s time for me to step onto my path.
Here are the four steps I received in the email from Gabby ..
Step 1 : Get ready
Readiness is the first step on the path towards certainty.
I’m ready to move towards certainty. I’m ready to align with my biggest visions. I’m ready to release my past doubts and stories. I’m ready to take bold action and to stop distracting myself.
Step 2: Think it, feel it, believe it.
Your thoughts and visions create your reality.
I have created a life vision through Lifebook. I have written my eulogy through Hero On A Mission. And I‘m aware of the doubts that what I’ve written is ‘right’. But let’s release those doubts for now. They may have served me in the past but they are not helping right now.
Ultimately, the aspect of my life I have struggled with the most is around finding the work I can do that would bring me a sense of meaning and contribution. As a Creator archetype in the Talent Dynamics system, there is a desire for significance .. for a unique contribution (since of course, any sort of ‘helping’ could be deemed a contribution).
Given that my vision for Cloudscape is a unique and meaningful offering that I believe would add significant value to the world, I continue to hold on to that. Or is my Creative Evolution framework of more value? Do I need to choose?
Step 3: get into a dialogue with the universe.
Step 4: co-create with the universe.
The doubt is a given. After all, what I’ve been seeking is perhaps an unanswerable question, that being, my purpose on this earth. But staying in doubt has been my problem. If I’m to contribute I need to decide. And in truth, I have decided (Cloudscape and coaching) but I’ve been wavering .. like a standing wave .. hovering in one spot .. buying time .. stalling.
But the time for bold action is here (do these Medium lessons count?). The time for uncertainty is gone.
And so .. with baby steps.. and perhaps the occasional leap .. I will hang my shingle and believe in myself. I open up to universal support, trusting that I’m not doing this alone, and that I am contributing.
Thanks for reading!