"Everything we see, could be otherwise"

Uncertainty. We hear this word and our hearts shrink, our pulse quickens, our brow furrows, and our muscles tense. We put ourselves on the alert. We don't know what will happen. We are lacking in certainty. That is what the word means), the prefix "un" denies the certainty, and envelopes it in a dense fog about what is about to happen. Maybe you have done a job interview, some medical tests or you are about to declare your feelings to the person you love. You have done as much as you can and the rest is no longer up to you.

The less a situation depends on us, the more uncertainty we can feel by not being able to anticipate the results. Uncertainty increases proportionally to ignorance. In situations like the one we live in, of great collective adversity, in addition to particular stories, it sneaks into every corner. When we have a lot of information yet little knowledge, this creates confusion and too many variables to ponder on. Very few people can claim that they have never felt the weight of uncertainty leaving them paralyzed.

Uncertainty places us in doubt and stirs up other emotions such as fear, anger or despair, the emotional cocktail is intoxicating. Sometimes, faced with this scenario, we become controllers, as a coping mechanism and defense, to bring order to chaos.

On the other hand, you may have heard a famous phrase associated with a classical philosopher, Heraclitus: "you cannot step into the same river twice." Why? Heraclitus affirmed: because neither you nor the river are the same in this or the next moment. It is easy to observe. Imagine a forest, with the sounds of the birds, the leaves moved by the wind and the whisper of the water when flowing.. Water is in motion, like life, and it is never the same despite being the same river. One way to manage uncertainty is to remember that everything is in constant motion like river water. That life is movement and that, in fact, what keeps still is dead or lacks life. Have you thought about it that way? Therefore, uncertainty, from this perspective, can connect us with possibility, it can become the curious doubt that opens us to life in its fullness, with all its aromas, colors, textures... including pain.  Yes, sometimes life hurts a lot.

We can handle uncertainty by enjoying the few certainties we have.  Tomorrow the sun will rise, and if I am alive, I will accumulate one more day of experience, and we must take full advantage of it because the day will come when I will not wake up. In fact, the only certainty we have is that one day we will die. Thus, each new dawn is a new possibility. If, when feeling uncertain, you can see it as a new possibility, as a challenge or as a blank canvas on which to draw life with the materials you have, you will be able to make it as beautiful as possible. From those who do everything they can, nothing more can be asked of them.

You are probably familiar with Aesop's fable The Tortoise and the Hare. In this story the hare and the tortoise challenge each other to a race. The hare, who knows himself faster, laughs mocking the tortoise, as he is certain of winning the race, so much so that he falls asleep bored. While the hare slept peacefully knowing that it would win, the tortoise, slowly but surely, and believing in itself, ended up winning the race. The moral of the story has always led us to think about the power of patience and humility.  However, in times where uncertainty wreaks havoc and places us in suffering, I invite you to make an adjustment to the moral: certainty can bore us so much that it leads us to live a life asleep. Perhaps, when the uncertainty in the face of facts is evident, when the results are not guaranteed, the only thing we can do is to be like the turtle: believe in ourselves, turn the uncertainty into an opportunity, and surprise ourselves with life. Who do you want to be, the tortoise or the hare?

Aesop, the Tortoise and the Hare.

Camps, Victoria (2016). Elogio de la duda. Arpa Editores.
Luis Rojas Marcos (2010). Superar la adversidad. Espasa. 

Movie: Soul by Disney Pixar, Docter, P. (Director). (2020). Soul [Movie]. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation StudiosNúria Molina Amate