“Amidst the confusion of the times, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives.” ~ Thomas S. Monson
I don’t know how atheists do it; seriously, I don’t. There are days that the only thing getting me through is my faith, and that’s even one of the sources of my confusion. I do believe that there’s a path I’m supposed to be on, but geez, do I get conflicting messages.
I can’t be alone in this, right?
So today, as I was twisting in that confusion, I thought I’d write about tackling confusion in our lives, and I found this quote. It’s not really what I was going to discuss, but it spoke to me, and here I am.
Confusion and turmoil are present in my life more than I like to admit, but I do have an abiding faith. It may not be the “faith of my fathers” and it may not be mainstream, but it’s mine, and it’s definitely the cornerstone of my life.
So just how do we deal with confusion? The things I try are the things that many people use, so let me share in the hopes that it will help others. There are lots of ways to ignore the confusion–reading, watching television or a film, singing, dancing, drinking, drugs (which I absolutely do not endorse, but I’m just listing here). But I’m the type who would rather clear it than ignore it, so I often choose other options.
I write, either publicly or privately. The physical act of writing, and the thinking process that happens when I write helps me. But not everyone likes writing, so this might not be for everyone.
Meditation helps as well. Going to a still place and emptying my mind helps. I’ve been practicing meditation for decades. It’s not easy to master, at least not for me, as I get so distracted. Emptying my mind of “busy-ness” is difficult. There are many websites on how to meditate, so if you don’t know how, give it a google and find the method that speaks to you.
I have a place I go to in my mind. It’s a real physical place from my past, and it’s where I feel calm. I picture myself there: I see it, hear it, smell it and feel it. I share in the hopes this might work for you.
When the confusion is agitated, I sometimes go for a long walk, trying to still my mind while walking, concentrating on working my body instead of external things. If possible, I get near water–river, lake or ocean. If it’s an option, swimming in ocean water also helps me. I find concentrating on the physical clears my mind, allowing concentration and a kind of walking meditation. But I don’t do this on city streets! For safety reasons, find a place where you can walk without having to pay attention to traffic.
If walking isn’t an option, sometimes yoga is. I like my yoga as a spiritual exercise more than physical exercise, so quiet, low light and relative peace helps, but try what works for you.
Confusion is part of human existence, but there are ways we can deal with it. My foundation is faith–I am sure that if I ask for guidance and clarity it will come–but I still need to work at it. I hope these ideas help you, as well.