Releasing the Need for Certainty and Trusting Our Decisions

Peaceful Woman

If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” ~Unknown

If you’re like me, you’re hard on yourself—and I mean hard.

You analyze your decisions and try to somehow calculate the results of your actions to feel a sense of certainty. Little did you know that searching for the certainty causes all of your insides to do flips and only causes more uneasiness.

What I always wonder is where did the need to know come from? I remember being a free spirit with no worries as a child (as I’m sure most of us were—the beauty of naivety), but never did I have the need to just know first so I could be happy second.

Where does this need to know come from? 

I’ve recently been reading a few books by Don Miguel Ruiz, the most current being The Voice of Knowledge.

A chapter in the book talks about our personal stories we have in our heads—the truths we tell ourselves based on our past experiences and overall beliefs about ourselves. We all have them, and we all utilize them to interpret the world in our own way. 

These stories have become so ingrained within us that we almost don’t notice we’re still holding onto the things that no longer serve us.

They teach us “because this happened in the past, this will happen again.” Even though the situation could be entirely different, we hold on to these “truths” for some surefire way to predict an outcome before we even know what it will be.

We no longer trust ourselves to make the right choice because we want the certainty that it will work out the way we want it to, so we can avoid any hurt or disappointment. I’ve learned that this is actually the quickest way to disappointment, hurt, and unhappiness.

We put so much of our energy and tie so much of our happiness into the outcome of this one decision, and we then beat ourselves up when it doesn’t turn out “right.”

I’ve been there many times before, and I have to say, it’s still a work in progress toward fully understanding this concept and practicing its lessons. This has been most apparent as it pertains to my relationships.

For a long time I was torn from a past relationship. I analyzed every bit of it until I had no clue what I was looking at. (Haven’t we all been there?) I closed myself off in fear because a part of me wanted to avoid making a wrong decision and ending up in a similar predicament where I had allowed myself to be hurt.

Now that I’ve moved on, I’ve found that at times I still carry that fear of uncertainty with me, the fear that trusting myself isn’t enough to know what is right. And that is why I say I’m still a work in progress. I’ve had to learn to let go of these “truths” and stories in order to see things fresh.

Realizations don’t always lead to immediate changes, but recognizing is the first step.

I’ve gone a little bit easier on myself over time, but I’ve tried to remember that happiness doesn’t come from knowing; it comes from living through what life gives us.

It can’t be about figuring out some correct equation to all, because one equation can never fit any and every situation.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for yourself is trust in what feels good to your soul, but first open the space within yourself to receiving these feelings. If you close yourself off emotionally and get caught in your head, you won’t know how to feel anymore.

So as a reminder to me and as a reminder to you, go easy on yourself. Respect the space within you that desires the freedom to live, without the need to know right at this moment.

There is never a true state of knowing because we are constantly learning; there is just a state of trusting and accepting the choices we make and knowing every outcome is a lesson—even if we’re still opening ourselves to receive it.

Photo by Giuseppe Chirico

About Amalia Gratteri

Amalia Gratteri currently works at a non-profit open adoption agency, and writes in her spare time. She's forever a student of life, a yogi in training, a lover of words and inspiring others. Visit Be Inspired to read/subscribe to inspirational emails or visit her Facebook page for poetry and quotes.

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