I used to be so certain

There have been times in my life when I have been certain. Certain about what I believed, about my relationships, where my life was headed, and a thousand other things.

I was pretty certain.
I’m also certain I was probably a bit of a jerk.

Not my intent by any means, but there is a certain arrogance that comes with living in a world of black and white clarity.

In my days when I was certain, I would listen to others tell me about how things hadn’t ended up how they thought or how they’d gotten lost in life. And, I would listen so well. With sympathy and connection. And then, after listening, I would give them advice. From my perfect, ‘certaintude‘.

Like I said, I was probably a bit of a well-meaning jerk.

Right now, I’m living in a space of having loss some of my certainty. I suspect this is due to a combination of factors including personal life events, getting older (hopefully wiser), things around me, and increased time spent in discussions and contemplation.

life is uncertainWhat I’ve learned:

Not being certain is hard. It was easier when I thought I knew the answer. Change and ambiguity feel unstable.

Not being certain is easy. I don’t have to know the answers. I don’t even have to pretend to know the answers. A good thing since I really don’t.

It is really annoying being the target of ‘advice’ from the many well-meaning certain people throughout my life. Some seem truly concerned for me – but most seem more worried about expressing their ‘certaintude’.

Not being certain has opened up more discussions than being certain ever did. It feels vulnerable. But it feels authentic.

And that feeling of authentic connection makes it all worth while.

maryjoburkhard.com #culturethriving

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