Kabbalistic Concepts

4 Things Certainty Isn’t

One of the key principles of most spiritualities is to develop a sense of certainty in the universe. We strive to have certainty that there is a plan for us, and that the Creator has our best intentions in mind. We work to conquer the fears and doubts we have about the future. And we try to keep a strong connection to the Light when faced with challenges. 

Having certainty is essential to walking the spiritual path. It expands our ability to connect to the Light of the Creator, allowing us to experience the inherent goodness that is all around us.  But having certainty is often easier said than done, and for all the articles and classes that exist on the subject, we frequently misunderstand what it truly means.

Here are some common misconceptions about certainty that can hold us back in our spiritual development. 

It’s logical to think that when something isn’t going the way we would like, we just need to inject certainty into the situation, and then it will turn out in our favor. We think if we just believe that we will get the money, the job, the relationship we want, then it will come to be. But true certainty means understanding that we are exactly where we are meant to be in life, and that each challenge or obstacle we are facing is part of our spiritual process. Maybe we didn’t get the great job we wanted because there’s a better job waiting for us around the corner. Maybe we haven’t met our soulmate yet because they are about to move in next door tomorrow. Or maybe we are meant to learn some valuable lesson through these challenges. Certainty means knowing that our soul is getting exactly what it needs when it needs it, even if we don’t understand how or why.  

As human beings, it’s only natural that we worry about the future. Trying to convince ourselves that we aren’t worried is not the same thing as certainty. Just as the challenges in our life are opportunities to become better versions of ourselves, so too are our own negative thoughts. Our fears and doubts are obstacles we are faced with, challenging us to make a choice - succumb to them or overcome them. As long as there is breath in our bodies, we will be faced with fears and doubts. It’s when we choose to move forward despite them that we build our certainty. 

When we say that we believe in something, it indicates that we have the ability to also not believe in it. It implies that we have decided what we believe. The Rav would often teach that certainty is stronger than belief because it is knowing. Certainty is knowing that the Creator’s hand is involved in every aspect of our lives, just as we know the Sun will rise each morning. 

Certainty should be an active part of our everyday lives, not just a tool we use when we are going through a difficult situation. It’s important to practice certainty when things are going well for us too. We should ask ourselves constantly, “What did I do this week that actually awakened my certainty?”

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking certainty is like a magical power that will make everything go the way we want. But that is not the purpose of having certainty. Remember that the plan we have for ourselves is not always the same as the Creator’s plan. The Creator may want us to go through challenges because He knows there is a lesson our soul needs to learn in order to ascend to a higher level.

The Creator knows what is best for our soul, and will always give us exactly what we need. Exactly when we need it. To know this is to have certainty.  

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