Commentary on Confusion
Iyanla Vanzant


Chaos and confusion are not the same things.  Chaos is the energy we create when we have a need to be needed, when we want to make ourselves feel important, when we are trying to convince ourselves we are not important, and when we need something to do.  Chaos looks confusing, but it is not confusion.  Chaos is a cleverly disguised way of saying, "I know what to do and you don't!"  Or, "You know what to do, so please rescue me!"  Or, "Get out of the way!  I'm in control here!"  Or, "There's something else I need to be doing, but I can't do it now because I'm busy creating chaos!"  Confusion, on the other hand, is a mental and emotional response to the failure to admit what we really want, because we are afraid we will not get it.

Confusion is an experience of having the brain shut down.  There is a barrage of information coming at you, and you can't figure out what is real from what is unreal.  The natural response is a perceived experience of not knowing what to do.  Well, that's impossible!  You always know what to do because you have a divine connection to the One Mind that knows everything.  Confusion is about the mental and emotional outgrowth of knowing exactly what to do, and having this knowledge clouded by the belief that you are not good or smart enough to do it.  This is augmented by the fear that if you do it, you might not do it right, or that if you do it the way it needs to be done, somebody will get mad at you.

The natural response to this self-defeating mental chatter is for the intellectual mind to shut down.  The result is what we call confusion.

There was a time in my life when I was very confused about why I couldn't sustain a lasting, meaningful relationship.  It seemed as if I would never have a fulfilling or lasting relationship with a man, and that friends would always betray me.  I told myself that it wasn't my fault, and that I had done the best I could in every situation.  I finally retreated into the self-debasing judgment that there was something wrong with me.  As confused as I was and damaged as I believed I was, I kept dragging myself in and out of relationships and friendships.  The confusion eventually spread to my career.  I could never seem to figure out what my supervisor wanted.  I never seemed to do anything right.  From there, the confusion spread to my finances.  I could not figure out why I never had enough money, why I kept bouncing checks.  Where was the money going?  I was putting it in the bank.

Confession is another important step toward the elimination of confusion.  I confess, I was not willing to ask the men in my life for what I wanted because I was afraid they would leave me.  I confess, I was not willing to tell my friends when they were overstepping their boundaries because I thought they would be mad at me.  I confess, I was not handling my finances with attention and care because I thought there was never enough to do what I wanted to do.  I confess, I believed I was ugly, too fat, not smart, unworthy, unvaluable, and a disappointment to my mother and God.  The result of not confessing these things to myself about myself and taking healing steps toward correction was confusion.  The final straw came when I lost my car!  No, it was not stolen.  I lost it in the parking lot.  I parked it right under the big letter C.  When I returned from my shopping expedition, it was not there.  It took me forty-five minutes to find my car right where I had parked it--under the big letter F.  F stands for fog.  My brain was fogged by my unwillingness to ask for what I wanted.

Until you are ready to admit to yourself exactly what it is that you want, you will experience confusion.  Until you are willing to ask for exactly what you want in life, from any situation, or in your relationships with other people, you will experience confusion.  The confusion will not subside until you honestly believe that you deserve what you want; that you are entitled to the experience of what you want; and that, if it is for your higher good, you will eventually have exactly what you want.  In order to move out of confusion, you must be willing to be still long enough to get in touch with what you really want.  This can be a pretty frightening experience, particularly when there is negative self-talk and negative chatter going on in the mind.  You can alleviate this kind of disruption with self-affirming thoughts and actions.  Once this is done, and you identify what you want, you must be willing to mentally and emotionally ride out the experience of admitting what you want.  Stop worrying about how and when it will happen.  Realize that you can have in life only what you are meant to have.  Everything you receive is for your growth and healing.

Once you have admitted what you want, consciously take steps toward the realization of that experience.  Do and say the things that are a reflection of your desire.  Do not settle for something you know is a reasonable facsimile of what you want.  Hold out for the real thing to show up.  Ride out your dream.  You will know it when it shows up because it will meet every aspect of what you have said you want to experience.  In the meantime, keep affirming yourself.  Be willing to admit when you make a mistake.  Ask for help or support when you need it.  As you move toward your goal and gather new information, realize it is never too late to change your mind.  As soon as you realize the need to make another choice, admit it to yourself, and then do it.

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