It’s been a while since I have written, and for that I apologize. I have so very busy; everything I have offered has sold out before I even had a chance to tell you all about it – so each time I sat to write this I had nothing to ‘sell’! And, rather more significantly, I spent a lot of the last month in a state of confusion, which is a tough space from which to offer inspiring words. I did my fair share of fighting with that sense of confusion. Yeah, I struggled and resisted, and tried to find a narrative to account for my mixed up feelings. ‘It’s THIS!’ I would think, relieved to finally have a handle on it: ‘Oh, I can do something about that, I can blah blah blah’… Until my great solutions didn’t make sense anymore – and then back it came, that de-stabilizing miasma of self-doubt and uncertainty. ‘Wait! It’s THAT!’ …At last I had the answer! ‘But wait, that can’t be right…’ Only to return to confusion… and again the cycle wore on.
Finally last week I became aware of the necessity of surrender.
The necessity – it’s simply a necessity to let go into experience at a certain point. To drop the narrative impulse, to do away with the utterly unmanageable project of figuring it all out, and to just have the experience – in my case, of confusion. Slowly, peace begins to trickle through, in the manner of the Chemex coffee maker. I haven’t been able to stop sighing. (Relief!)
It’s not that confusion has stopped – no, not at all. I will be the first person to say that I have no idea what is going on! Doesn’t ‘I don’t know, I don’t know’ seems to be a life-appropriate mantra sometimes?
And I don’t think any of that – any of that deep not-knowing-ness – arises from a lack of faith. I have been taught, by people I respect very much, and admire, to have faith in the unfolding of my life. And, in truth, I have noticed that my life seems to invite me to have faith in it, in a certain kind of barely definable way. (Which is to say, I have noticed in myself the capacity to be amused by adverse circumstances. I have noticed a capacity to feel genuine curiosity about the way things occur, along with all of the normal elations and disappointments of life.)
When I get confused, I notice my mind attempting to make a ‘faith-worthy’ story. That’s an interesting one. So, I can account for this or that unfortunate circumstance! It’s because my life is trying to teach me THIS! And in this way I paint myself inwardly as a sort of a master of this circumstance, a great knower of the WHY of things.
You know, that is such bullshit. It really is. The WHY of things, as I have experienced it, is continually on the move. It’s no fixed point, it’s no final conclusion. It’s a rich ongoing revelation, manifesting in great leaps and tiny glimpses both. And sometimes you just get nothing for awhile – no clarity at all. Just a whole mess of spin-y-around-y thought-forms and a jumble of conflicting impulses.
Yeah, that’s a great moment to surrender. Maybe I can provisionally call confusion a great teacher of surrender (only provisionally – no final words on confusion from me).
For me, surrendering to confusion took a very sweet form last week. It took the form of an invitation to abide in my experience. Abide, abide, abide. To dwell and sojourn in an experience – to open to a limitless tolerance for an experience. Waiting patiently, withstanding, I fell in love. I noticed that what I was doing, in essence, was loving myself. Abiding love. Not so much in the sense of a love that lasts forever – but in the sense of a love that bears, that withstands, that remains. That tolerates discomfort. A love that is unmoved by.. anything. Abide, abide, abide. It’s a practice, a way of infinite patience.
What an outstanding way to live. Thank you, Life, for reminding me to cut the crap and have the experience! I feel so much lighter. Inspired by one of my online soothsayers, I’m letting the sunniest part of who I’m becoming be my guide for the next phase of my life. Well… doesn’t that feel better?