I Miss Certainty

There was a time I knew right from wrong.

There was a time I knew what you should do. And what I should do.

There was a time I knew things like relationships should always be worked on, that you should always try really hard and be good, that hard work was its own reward.

There was a time I was certain that you shouldn’t be so judgmental. And I judged you for it. After all, you were so damn judgy.

Sometimes I miss certainty. Being able to rest in the knowing of How Things Should Be. I feel like I’ve crossed a line—and on this side of the line, I’m not so certain about Things.

Over here, I’ve done wrong things that felt so right.

Over here, I’m not sure what you should do. Sometimes I still think I know, but then I remember, I don’t.

As for what I should do, I can only feel my way forward in any given moment. That’s been working pretty well for me.

And as for you being judgmental, to be honest, lots of times I still think you shouldn’t be. Because I can be pretty damn judgy.

There was a time I was certain I wanted my life to look a particular way.

Then I was certain it should look this other particular way.

Now it looks like neither one of those ways.

And I’m more peaceful and happier than I’ve ever been.

Oddly enough, I’m almost certain I’ll be even happier.


18 comments on “I Miss Certainty
  1. I resonated with this one so much as well…and soon after I shared it on Facebook, I ran across this quote by Anne Lamott that I hadn’t seen in a while but that fits oh so well: ““The opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty.”

    Love your faith — in yourself and in life!

  2. Yeah.

    And somehow, maybe because I’m new to this, that old certain part of me keeps expecting a new certainty to emerge out of the increasing Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole-ness. Some days I’m happier and more peaceful, and others I’m clutching for something that ends up shrinking in my hand, or turning into something else, or bursting into song and then scampering away….those are the “vertigo” days.

    Alice eventually makes peace with her world, as do so many heroines who land in bewilderingly and (at first) terrifyingly strange places. Since today is a vertigo day, I will invoke a small blond girl in a blue pinafore and do my best to love the strangeness. I will also invoke you, who also seems to have made peace with the strangeness you are wandering deeper into, and wait for the next magical thing to emerge.

  3. This is fabulous! One of my favorite pieces from Elizabeth Gilbert is on certainty, “Sometimes it seems like the only job of the world is to gently (or not so gently) separate us from our deepest assurances, exposing once again to that ultimate moral teaching tool: humility” I LOVE this friend and I love being in this radically uncertain space with you!

  4. This is so beautiful Bridgette… and yet I still giggled when I read it, because I could just HEAR you saying, “After all, you were so damn judgy.” 🙂

    It reminded me of that old saying that goes something like, we make plans, and God laughs. Btw, I love your new website!

  5. Love. Love. Love. Just published an article today that ended with: “This year I’m committed to stay out of my own way. My perspective won’t hold me back. So for me – not as many should’s, fewer expectations, and for sure less wrong and more right.” I always look forward to your posts and love that you share so freely of yourself. <3

  6. It seemed so much easier to look at everything as black and white, but it does become so much more
    peaceful to live in the grey area and let things roll along as they do. I don’t have to work so hard with that whole “damn judgy” thing and it also keeps reminding me it’s just not all my responsibility.

  7. I love this. I, too, remember when I knew it all! This is for all of us who planned our lives so well–and nothing turned out like we planned!

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