How scared we are of confusion, to even admit to being confused. And how much shaming we endure when we do. Let’s face the cloud with eyes open and examine what it means to be confused.
Sometimes people hide behind “I’m confused” as a way to avoid the responsibility of thinking. But if you’re reading my writing, you probably enjoy thinking. Even complex ideas like emotions and morality. Thinking is not a chore, not a burden, not a monster. It’s adventure.
So what does it mean for a person like you or I to say “I’m confused.”? It means feeling unable to process thoughts in the straight line they generally follow. Something is blocking the steady stream, the usual order that we know life to go. Something is slowing us down. Something is obscuring our view. Something is pulling us in a different direction. Maybe it’s another stream of thoughts. Maybe it’s a person. Or maybe it’s that feeling that something doesn’t add up, doesn’t fit. Something is not okay.
The world shames us for confusion, possibly because it means it means decisions and actions will be paused. And this is inconvenient and scary. That’s probably why the statement is often met with a ‘Buck up and do it’ attitude. But if you are able to separate the shaming and pressure that comes from outside, you might find that confusion is actually a great alarm sign telling you to stop and consider. Honour that feeling. It might keep you from falling into a trap.