hand-painted silk men’s robes, 1988


“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ”
~ Pema Chodron


I have been watching myself react to people whose opinions and beliefs do not match mine.

Of course, I am so sure I am right.

It feels so slimily delicious to be right.

Someone posts on Facebook that THIS is courage but THAT is not.

My hackles rise. I want to wring the person’s neck and say: “How do you know what you know? Are you very sure what you know is the truth?”

It is a courageous act to not know.

“I don’t know what to do to help you. Can you please help me know what to do (what you need, what to say, how to support you)?”

Not knowing leaves us raw and exposed; lacking the delicious armor of being absolutely sure of our convictions.

But really…do you know the courage it takes for me or anyone for that matter to re-enter life each day with the challenges we each face?

No…we just can’t know another truly so we must inquire into their reality and bear the confusion of not knowing.

My penchant for watching myself, witnessing Cathy in all her costumes can seem like navel-gazing to others. I know no other way to self-correct my unconscious places. If I don’t know they are there I can not address them and this continuous looking refines my essence.

This is how I make room for you.


3 Responses to “Confusion”

  1. Paul on July 23rd, 2015

    I really like this post! You bravely upgrade “navel gazing” to that all-important “self-correcting my (our) unconscious places.” I think many people do not take the time to inquire with others empathetically and self-reflect for understanding oneself and the other. Many people find it empowering, and ego-building to judge others and go on from there. There is comfort in “knowing” and “being right”. But I have found that in this material world of duality, where there is always an argument — even in the presence of “indisputable proof” — there is only one non-duality, one Truth, which is luminous love energy, the non-material fabric of the living universe. If navel-gazing brings us closer to this, then navel gazing is a religious practice to be respected and admired.

  2. Barry on July 24th, 2015

    “continuous looking” is the journey to be celebrated.

  3. Jenny on July 24th, 2015

    Oh Cathy brilliant and the comments -I salute them too-, all gives me the courage to face the unseen memories and have enormous compassion for me and the others . And let them rest.

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