The Uncertainty Principle

I was thinking lately about the Uncertainty Principle. It is a concept in physics, and before you tune me out because that word (physics) scares you, let me explain. It’s a very simple idea.

The Uncertainty Principle says that you can’t know everything about a particle, and I am going to make the analogy that you can’t know everything about a situation. If it happened to you — and I’m thinking of skeletons here — then you know a lot of the details, facts, feelings, etc. But you may never know why that painful thing happened to you. On the other hand, you may have a very good idea why a situation unfolded, and in that case, you won’t know very much about the details of the outcome. You may think you know, but you don’t.

I share this because I hope it will help you come to peace with things in your past and help you to stop searching for “why.” You simply may never know why. You may spend a great deal of energy looking for the reason why, but it is like banging your head against the glass — it will not get you anywhere. It is more helpful to change the story that you are telling yourself about the situation, to reframe it into something that has a more positive spin and acknowledges that you have had many positive experiences as a result of that particular skeleton in your closet. That helps you dissolve any shame and release resentment — how can you resent something that was ultimately for your good? How you talk to yourself is very important (that’s why I have Tell Yourself This affirmations at the end of each chapter in my book). How you center yourself is very important.

So, accept that there are things that you don’t know, can’t know, and will never know. And that’s okay. We were never meant to be omnipotent. We were meant to live in the moment and wherever there is loveliness, beauty or joy, to experience it fully, deeply, and without reservation.