Saturday, May 22, 2021

certainty vs. clarity

Image text: We can’t always have the certainty we want, but discernment allows us to find the clarity we need.

One of the driving needs for Enneagram 6s is for certainty, though no doubt other personality types gravitate toward certainty-seeking, as well. We like to know what’s coming so we can prepare ourselves, even if just mentally and emotionally. Uncertainty can feel scary and disorienting.

Lately, I’ve found that while I can’t always have certainty, God often does allow me to have clarity. When I do the work to pray, surrender, and discern, God often responds and allows me to get in touch with my inner knowing. My habit is to second guess myself even when I think I have discerned something, but certainty doesn’t coexist with faith in myself or in God. 

Trusting yourself doesn’t mean you won’t ever get it wrong. It means that you develop the habit of getting in touch with your inner knowing and acting accordingly without an excessive need for affirmation from others. We can be confident while still holding decisions and ideas loosely enough for God to redirect and course-correct as needed. We can seek wise counsel from others without losing ourselves in someone else’s decisions and opinions. 

I’m practicing self-talk when I begin to second guess myself after finding clarity: “You already know. You prayed about this and discerned the next step. You don’t need affirmation from others to validate the decisions about which you’ve already received clarity.” 

Certainty involves knowing future outcomes, which we cannot do, but clarity involves coming to a clear sense of understanding and knowing how we ought to proceed in a given situation. We can act with confidence and let go of our need to control the results. We can recognize that mistakes do not indicate that we shouldn’t have trusted ourselves; mistakes are simply reminders that we are human. 

Finally, we remember that regardless of anything we do or don’t do, we remain, always, held and loved deeply by a God who knows how hard it is to be human.

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