If you have cable television you can’t help but see the listings for “Sex and the City” about 20 times a day. It has become a cult-like show filled with little quips that are fun and funny. Even more surprising are the little bits of wisdom that pop up when Carrie Bradshaw sits in her apartment writing her newspaper column. I have to hand it to the writers because they ask questions that are universal. The questions the writers pose are not just for relationships, but can be converted to address any of life’s situations.
The other evening while watching the show Carrie had an epiphany. The question she asked was, “Why are we so fast to move from confused to Confucius?” I got to thinking about this question and how it applies to you following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness. We live in a world where we have to make sense and meaning out of everything that happens to us. Haven’t you heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason”, as if we’re supposed to be able to create the chain events that leads us to the promise land as to why you were diagnosed with a health challenge.
Does having that Confucius moment make it easier to deal with your health challenge or does it create a chasm between reality and fantasy? Is it important to have those moments of confusion prior to being enlightened? We’ve all heard people who have been diagnosed with an illness speak about how the diagnosis was a gift; that’s the Confucius moment. Did they get this enlightenment directly after leaving the doctor’s office and sitting under a tree? Was there any confusion prior to the light shining down upon them?
Years ago I worked at a drug and alcohol outpatient program. One night a young man, newly sober, talked about how confused he was feeling; as if this were a bad thing. A member of the group who had been sober for quite a while stood up and applauded this young man. He explained that as long as the newbie was confused he was still teachable and that would serve him as he engages his recovery on a deeper level.
The confusion we all have felt following the diagnosis of a health challenge gives you the freedom to ask questions. It allow you to be curious and experience your exploring nature. The confusion allows you to gain experience from those who have walked this path before and then the Confucius moments pave the way for those who follow you.
You can have both confusion and the Confucius moment; they are not mutually exclusive. There is a process for each and I hope you find your own way on your journey to wellness!