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Monday, October 13, 2014


In confusing situations, or with confusing people, it's very easy to think you're misunderstanding something, and that YOU need to work on figuring out what's going on, what the confusion stems from, why there is misunderstanding or miscommunication.

But if you do the spiritual work, every single day, of paying attention to yourself, to listening carefully to yourself and others, and of adjusting to what needs work in your, then ongoing confusion isn't necessarily a problem that rests solely with you.

Ongoing confusion is the result of energies being sent or received in a way that is somehow crooked, not simple or straightforward. There is something from either the sender or receiver, or creator of the situation, that isn't clear, and so the energy of communication then becomes a reflection of that lack of clarity, and there is confusion.

For example, if we're playing tennis and you serve the ball to me, I can see it coming, anticipate my move, and either hit or miss it, and the game continues. But if you put some serious spin on it in a way that I can't detect, the ball ends up in a totally unexpected place, and in my surprise and confusion, I am unable to act quickly enough to return the volley. You'll win the point, but there won't be much give and take.

Sometimes this is exactly what confusion is - someone taking the lead and sending out serves (communication and energy) in such a way that they are communicating with you, but it's simply impossible to really respond, reply, return the serve. Or if you do, it's in a fumbling and off-center way, so you feel insecure and confused about the transaction.

Confusion with someone you care about is worth sorting through, especially if this isn't the ongoing pattern between you. And confusing situations are worth exploring, especially if you have to work within them. It's useful to understand the dynamic that is contributing to the confusion. It can be as simple as bad process, or as complicated as an individual who is deliberately sabotaging a situation.

But ongoing confusion with another, a pattern of confusion that has an irreconcilable quality, might just be that. It might be that the energies of the two people involved are such a mismatch that clarity is impossible, or at least impossible to sustain.

And when you see that lack of clarity, inability to 'get' each other, underlying tension from ongoing misunderstanding, that getting to useful clarity and understand requires more energy input than ever comes back to you, that satisfying connecting is always a chore, that you are drained by the ongoing confusion, then you can understand that it's simply time to step away, the give space to yourself,and move in a different direction.

You can't always leave the relationship. Maybe it's your boss, or spouse, or lover, or child, or parent with whom this confusion arises. But you can give yourself some room emotionally and spiritually to come back to a place of clarity and simplicity in yourself, to know that YOUR nature is not one of confusion or of creating confusion. And if the confusion is coming from you, pay attention to why you are creating confusion, and see what you want to do about that.

What does it take to come back to a place of clarity and simplicity in yourself and in your communication? Maybe you don't even know what that feels like? One of the central aspects of clarity and simplicity within, and with others, is moving away from fear. Fear creates static, tension, overwhelm, aggression or retreat - all the ways we try to accommodate what is beyond our capacity to manage.

So when you see yourself getting confused, slow down your thinking, relax your breathing and stay with yourself emotionally, even if there's discomfort. And if you can't do that, then to whatever degree possible, remove yourself from the situation causing confusion and fear. Cultivate a practice that lets you unravel the confusion in your own space and time. Not simply to acknowledge and then sit with it, but to do the interior, imaginative work of separating out energies, of unraveling the strands of your energy and another's, and not trying to intertwine them, or to make them work together where they don't. Like separating necklaces knotted together, patient, careful, attentive works is required.

But more than figuring out what is happening with another person, have the intention within to create simplicity and clarity in your thinking, speaking, acting, and relating. The more you create, cultivate, and sustain that energy within yourself, the less anyone or anything can pull you into confusion. Because simplicity and clarity will become your nature, your habit, and your personality. The confusion or drama that others create then simply has no home within you, and you will not be pulled into their energetic confusion.

And with simplicity and clarity, you will see and understand more quickly and fully who and what is around you, and know how to engage in a way that supports the best in your and others. Instead of being pulled into confusion, you then become the instrument to change confusion into clarity, static into simplicity.