But, why? How come? What’s going to happen? Why is that?
Think of yourself in these scenarios. What happens in your body? How do you feel? What happens in your mind? If you’re like me, you might get a tightness in your stomach, maybe a furrow on your brow, an uneasiness falls over you, and your mind goes into rapid fire on possible answers or solutions.
Each of these questions come from a need to know and is asked in an attempt to avoid uncertainty. When we don’t know the answer to things, it’s uncomfortable. And as humans we are doing our damnedest to make ourselves comfortable.
Thing is, life is uncomfortable.
There are many things we don’t know, from what the weather is going to be like this afternoon (though we do everything we can to make sure we do know), to what someone else is thinking, to what will happen to our car if we leave it in the parking lot, to what happens when we die, to knowing how our kids will turn out. Life is full of unknowns, things out of our control. And no one likes not being in control.
This is why we seek answers.
This is why we ask why. If we “know,” we have a sense of control, a sense of calm, a sense of comfort. Of course, this approach is actually keeping us from feeling the very thing we are in search of. By continuing to think we need to have the answers, we create more chaos, unease, and anxiety.
But, there is a way to turn our “need to know” into a constructive practice that offers us the deeper peace and deeper knowing we are ultimately seeking (and ultimately have within). When I pause and ask “why?” when I am about to say something, or feel angry, or grab for the pint of ice cream, or reach for a drink, I am empowering myself to reveal my truth, my true knowing, my inner peace.
Questioning our beliefs, reactions, or behaviors, offers us a chance to see what is really going on and to live from a more mindful place as opposed to living on auto-pilot. Needing to know what is going to happen in the future or why something happened in the past are distractions, keeping us from the deeper knowing of what is happening in the present moment. Because we feel disconnected from our knowing within, we use these other means to feel certain.
Thing is, the path to true certainty requires being comfortable with uncertainty.
You don’t know what tomorrow brings—there is uncertainty in this. Yet you can have a much deeper knowing that whatever happens, you will be okay. You can access this deeper certainty by asking “why?” when it matters.
The next time you find yourself wanting to avoid uncertainty by trying to figure it out or find the answer, see if you can sit in the question or in the discomfort of not knowing. Another thing to practice is saying, “I don’t know.” It is interesting to observe how you feel or what you think when you (or someone else) says those words.
Then, when you catch yourself feeling a certain way or saying something automatically or doing something as if by default, pause and ask, “Why?” You may need to ask it a few times to get to the core and reveal the inner Knowing you already have within.
Our True Knowing has been displaced by our incessant need to know out of fear of feeling uncertain. The more we embrace uncertainty, the more certain we can feel about the absolute truths of life.
If this idea piques your curiosity, I explore the entire concept of uncertainty and this deeper knowing in my book, Becoming Enough: A Heroine’s Journey to the Already Perfect Self.