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The Trap of Confusion

Lately I’ve found myself feeling stymied, hamstrung from even choosing a direction. I noticed that with each passing day, I was bombarded with choices and voices, ways of doing and open doorways that made me just stand frozen in place. I found this quote by poet, David Whyte, “Every new epoch in the life of an individual or a society announces itself through difficulty, confusion or a sense of losing anchorage. To navigate this threshold we must find a deep, internal solid ground to maintain a conversation with the intangible, the numinous, and the just about to happen.”

This seems like an accurate account of the ways in which I feel about the unmooring of our culture and the unraveling of things once known to me. And I suspect I’m not the only one having these confused feelings inside on a moment by moment basis. How do we find that “deep, internal solid ground to maintain a conversation with the numinous”?

I recently did an inner journey to see what was causing all this confusion. Even in the journey I experienced confusion, which is rare, as I had set an intention of being shown a clear path for myself. I realized that all the confusion I had been experiencing on the outside was creating chaos on the inside. I had lost my way to my ‘internal solid ground’. In this journey I was shown how all the bombarding of information, lightning fast news bites that have the potential of tectonic shifts for our culture and possibly the world, made for some shaky ground to stand on. Add to this the chaos and pressure of everyday life and my feelings of confusion have become very real.

So how do we maintain our solid ground and even begin that conversation with the numinous? In my recent journey, I could see that I’d been trying to solve this confusion with events and solutions that were operating outside myself. Maybe if I took a trip, moved, changed jobs, friends, was more strategic, this confusion would subside.

I realized in my confusion that I might be “Too tired and that my vision had become too small”. I had been ignoring this very small, tiny inner urging that wanted me to stop and take stock; to listen to what’s being said inside and maybe going deeper, retreating a bit to see what this confusion can reveal for me.

Though this is certainly not new for the majority of us, it is surprising how much the daily confusion of life can keep us from stopping, breathing and being silent long enough to hear our own voice above the maelstrom and flood of the chaos we live in.

I leave you with this poem, also by David Whyte, “Sweet Darkness”

When your eyes are tired, the world is tired also
When your vision is gone, no part of the world can find you

Time to go into the dark, where the night has eyes to recognize its own
There you can be sure you are not beyond love

The dark will be your womb tonight
The night will give you horizon further than you can see

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.