Unknowing

I received this email in response to my last post on confusion. It is fantastic, so I MUST share it with you. But notice the difference in the feelings of the words "confusion" and "unknowing". Confusion is anxiety and struggle. Unknowing is peaceful and patient. Unknowing is not confusion. In fact, unknowing is knowing enough to wait.

I didn’t see a way to comment on your blog – so I’m writing you this email.

I totally agree that sometimes confusion is used as an avoidance of getting into the game and taking a risk. I’ve also found that there is a third option in addition to choosing between confusion and commitment – sitting with unknowing.

For me, this is the hardest choice to make because both confusion and commitment are action oriented and I feel that at least I’m DOING something – because God forbid I would do nothing. It’s true that confusion doesn’t lead to any external action, but it’s mentally all consuming – and – like you said – takes one completely out of the present moment. All that mental action is also exhausting.

But waiting – facing uncertainty and the unknown square in the face – this is the most scary and uncomfortable place of all, in my experience. Fear arises with the unknown and most will do just about anything to avoid it – including eat. And, in addition to eating, I would also beat myself up for being such an idiot/failure/fool for not knowing what the hell to do. I’m smart and smart people know what to do and don’t make mistakes. HA!

So now, (most of the time) when I’m in the place of no clarity and the choice to make is simply unclear, I quote this section of the Tao:

Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?

And, while I am waiting, I feel the fear instead of getting lost in confusion or eat. Then, at some point, I just know what to do. I didn’t really make a decision – it seemed to just appear. As I begin to take this approach more and more I’m finding that it is the most efficient and effective “decision making” “technique.” And as a result, I’ve recently lost 10lbs.

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