by Belinda Munoz on September 4, 2012


I’m certain I’m not the only one who wants to capture certainty. I want to grasp its image, frame it and hang it on my wall where it will offer reassurance and become one of the many things that signifies home.

Trouble is, the image I seek renders elusive, often hiding in its ever shape-shifting shadow. Worse yet, its look and feel slip-slides into irretrievable oblivion, leaving a trail of questions that move farther and farther away from familiar turf.

The mystery du jour could be anything:
Am I a good parent?
What happens next?
Will Obama get re-elected?

Sometimes, as one question leads to another, I find myself on a lightning-express route down a rabbit hole. (When Rilke said live the questions now, somehow I don’t think he meant obsess over them.) Those questions can be so deceptively alluring as they play seesaw with the heart and mind, faith and doubt, shadow and light.

Often, questions lead to clues. They’re not the exclamation-point, embossed-gold-seal guarantee I seek, thwarting all question marks out to sea. No. But they do represent a promise.

These clues are a bit like climbing the stairs step by step, leading closer to my door after walking for hours. I can almost hear the lock unclick as I turn the key. I can almost feel the warm water in the shower, the soft fleece against my skin, the pillow where I rest my head. But I wait. My shoes must stay on for a few moments longer. I’m not quite home yet.

The path toward certainty requires venturing away from home; away from the familiar. If I take a wound-raw, blood-gushing deep-dive within, I come up with answers which I know not what to do with but trust.

When this trust guides me through unfamiliar terrain, I may lack the certainty I long for, but I gain a level of comfort that, in many ways, reminds me of being home.


Is certainty all it’s cracked up to be?


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 One Love Around the World: Janny T. September 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I missed your posts Belinda Glad you Are back! This got me thinking. I like some gray areas in life because I think that’s real life but other times I want the facts and the certainty. But I’m CERTAIN I want you to post more : 0




2 ayala September 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Happy to see you, Belinda. 🙂 Great post ….a lot to think about ..missed you 🙂


3 meg September 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

I see we are both back on the blogging saddle!

Certainty is one of those things that bugged me for decades, impelled me to micromanage, make lists, set goals, chart goals, and so on. The worst action it caused was spending too much time setting the stage for a course of action, and getting bogged down in the details of the stage set rather than going ahead and improvising the play itself, getting on with the performance even if the blocking and the lines weren’t finished–as it never is, of course, in real life. Great post, and hope you had a lovely summer.


4 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri September 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I am wedded to certainty. Often underlying it is a sense of control. As I get older, I realize it is an illusion. There are very few things we can be certain about. I am learning that living in the present is accepting how uncertainty is a part of it.

Thought provoking post Belinda. Missed you and glad you are back! xoxo


5 BigLittleWolf September 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

A lovely musing.

I find that I have abandoned certainty, or it abandoned me. I’ve become quite comfortable with uncertainty, as it seems inevitable and “real” – with certainty little more than our self-protective pretense of control.

That said, I do like probabilities, and believe we can increase the probabilities of outcomes we desire through action. Are there guarantees? Of course not. But upping the likelihood of “good” doesn’t seem too bad, to me.


6 Kristen @ Motherese September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I struggle with uncertainty too and do everything I can to avoid it. I suspect that the Buddhists would have some words for me about attachment.

To speculate on your mysteries du jour, in order:

I am quite certain you are.
I have no idea.
Gosh, I hope so!


7 Cath September 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Glad to see you back! I actually went to your blog directly instead of just trusting my reader but the reader wasn’t lying.

As for certainty – the only thing 100% I’m certain of is that nothing is certain. :/


8 Sara October 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

I hope all is well with you. I imagine things are very busy for you right now.

I’ve been dealing with lots of uncertainties lately…like will the painter show up. will our kitchen ever have lights, will the granite be what we hoped for….I’m returning from a long summer break as we reach the end of Renovation Road.:~)

Be good to yourself:~)


9 Robin October 26, 2012 at 8:01 am

I miss your posts. You have such a lovely way of looking at things and putting them into words.

Certainty? I am always looking for it, chasing it, and hoping to grasp it. But, it is uncertainty that I know I can count on, whether I like it or not 🙂


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