(That’s right – sometimes we eat gelato out of antique teacups)
As a child, every adult seemed to want to make sure I understood. Teachers wanted me to understand instructions. My parents wanted me to understand rules and consequences. The librarian wanted us to understand what we were reading and not pick books that were too hard.
As a child, I learned that confusion was not a good thing. I learned that I needed to understand so I could accomplish things correctly, function in society correctly, and make the best choices.
As an adult, I’ve learned that perfect clarity is not always a given. I’ve learned that understanding is not all it was cracked up to be. I’ve learned that confusion is non-optional.
If I was not confused sometimes, I would not have to learn how to ask questions, how to reason and think for myself.
To take it a step further, I’ve learned to appreciate living in a constant state of not knowing, not understanding.
The tension of confusion has not been heart-stopping. I have not failed. In fact, I am arguably still accomplishing things correctly, functioning in society, and making choices that are best for me and my family.
When I thought I understood, when I thought I had everything in the sharpest focus, I was actually in a more dangerous position than I am now. Before I embraced confusion and made peace with a lack of answers, I wasn’t exploring.
Having a framework of answers, beliefs, valued perspectives, and understanding is useful and helpful and needed.
Within my framework, I have built a cubicle called ‘I Don’t Get It’. I don’t hate that space anymore. I don’t hate people or actions that come and go in that area. I appreciate my lack of understanding, my confusion, for the beauty it is.
There is mystery in the world. There are things I don’t understand because my perspective has not changed. There are things I don’t understand because I lack experience. There are things I don’t understand because no one does.
I’m okay with that.
Let us not fear that which we don’t understand.