In praise of bewilderment

If you know where you’re headed, how truly different can it be?  You can only set out to learn something if you know ahead of time what it is you want to learn.  If you plan out your future, your future will be hostage to the limits of your present imagination.

All real change starts with bewilderment.  It’s uncomfortable—nay, terrifying.  You have no idea where you’re headed.  You ask, why did I ever leave behind that life of excruciating safety?life-rafts-of-loveReality is so much richer than what we can conceive.  While there is no assurance that feeling at sea will lead to possibilities heretofore unimagined, there  is the certainty that you will never grow a fundamentally new way of being by executing a plan.

— Josh Mitteldorf


One thought on “In praise of bewilderment

  1. I’m in a bad marriage. The marriage is to a reality that isn’t real. To leave my marriage feels like leaping from a cliff. It’s not as though I’m in love with someone else, or see a better life beyond–I simply know that I can’t go on like this.

    So I jump ship, immerse myself in fear of the unknown, face the gnawing feeling that I’ve done something crazy. I have no sense where I’m headed, and therefore no basis for believing that what I will find is any more real than the unreality I have fled. It is not courage that drives me forward, for if I could undo the destruction I have wrought, I’m certain that I would choose to go back.

    But since I am here, directionless, lacking even the compass that would guide my choice, had I power to choose, I think: faith. The way to make a virtue of this particular necessity is to settle into my rudderless state, and to culture a trust in the richness of what lies ahead.

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