There comes a point for each of us on the journey of life of feeling at a loss, not knowing which way to go, perplexed about the future, direction and vision. It seems as if all we can see are the incongruities of our work, relationships, of our faith. Although confusion and the accompanying feelings of desperation can, no doubt, be a negative experience; there is a kind of confusion and difficulty that leads to and is even necessary in the process of growth.
I was feeling it yesterday. My teacher, mentor and friend, Tony Ryder made the comment while we were painting next to one another that, "the faster the world moves, the slower I paint." I desire this place of slowing down and acting as a brake on ever growing momentum of the world around me. I am a seeker of stillness and peace. I glory in the moments where my mind and eyes are of single focus and I am able to "be still and Know." But, even in the times of the deepest and most prolonged adventures into the Sanctuary or Center, my heart and mind often lapse back into the things of the world. Worries about finances, goals, and "how can I make a difference" often cause me to feel as though I have slipped once again on the ice of worldly-mindedness and frustration sets in. I am falling short of my own ideal. Likewise, I have (on far more than one occasion) been disturbed by the paradoxes and even apparently contrary nature of my personal faith and walk in the spirit. Although my mind believes and has even taught one thing, my spirit is crying out a different aspect of truth and the reconciliation of the two drives me nearly to a state of madness. This confusion is a blessing.
If we are not feeling discomfort we are not growing. When a child begins progressing through the stages of adolescence and their bones are growing along with their minds, a certain level of discomfort is evident. We call them "growing pains" but they transcend the natural, physical body and are recognizable throughout the persons whole being. This is a time of change. Emotions are unstable and sense of purpose and identity are in constant flux. This is normal, good, growing. Then comes a stage of leveling out where most people portray a self who is confident in their life, identity and calling and, for most, these "adults" progress through the rest of life experiencing relatively little change, discomfort, or transformation; excepting that which is thrust upon them from an external source and is often the cause of much griping and distress. It is time for us to grow up and welcome some discomfort again.
Are you progressing as a person and in spirit? Is a constant state of yearning for deeper and more pushing you to pursue and live what you can only now envision as the fullest expression of your Self? I would simply challenge you today to look at the areas of discomfort in your life and allow that maybe, just maybe, these are not places to look away from or to complain about but are the exact areas that you are being grown and are your most obvious vehicles of personal transformation. If there are no areas of discomfort, beware, for just as the growing pains in a child mark an impending time of maturity, so similar pains in adults are evidence that we have not grown stagnant and complacent as the years have crept (or flashed) by.
I'm not necessarily suggesting radical change or action. Simply that we are willing to think outside our own boxes; question that which we have viewed as truth but never examined; live this day in a way that at the end of it we can be sure we were living and not dying. There is a blessedness in confusion and in the pain of growth but we must embrace and even Love it if we are to reap the benefits of the gift.