Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Could you please clarify?

Something interesting happened to me the other day. I was having a conversation with someone very close to me, and they mentioned something that confused me. Now, sometimes it doesn't take much to confuse me. Talk to me about something like the stock market or economics or mechanics and you've pretty much lost me as soon as you open your mouth. But for the most part, I can follow an in-depth conversation and generally understand what you're talking about.

So, here's my friend and I and she's talking to me about interesting stuff. I was generally interested in what she was saying. But pretty soon, she'd lost me. I was still caught up on her opening sentence and trying to understand what she meant. You know how you try to split your concentration between comprehending what was already said, and storing up what was currently being said in order to sort through it in a few minutes time? That's where I was.

Instead of walking away feeling refreshed by our discussion, I walked away confused and pensive, and by pensive I mean brooding.

For the rest of the night, I was left wondering, 'What did she mean by that?', 'Surely she couldn't have meant this?' and 'Great, so where does that leave me now?'. I was stuck between an immovable rock and an uncomfortable hard place.

Now, for those of you who have never had the inexplicable joy of being stuck between that rock and a hard place, let me paint you a picture. It's rough, it's sharp, there's no comfort, you begin to twist and cramp into positions and situations you were never meant to contort to. You begin to worry that people will overlook you and not be able to rescue you.

Basically, you're stuck.

Enter from stage left: me. There's the rock, there's the hard place, and there's me wedged between them both. I wasn't getting unstuck in a hurry.

Enter from stage right: a light bulb moment (bing!). Why don't I ask my friend what she meant?

Cue applause. Curtains close.

Act II.

The next morning on my way to work, I rang my friend. We discussed our discussion. The key to this one? I opened my mouth and asked for clarification.

Understanding is underpinned by clarity. The more clearly you see an issue, the easier it is to understand it. When my friend clarified her point, I was instantly able to understand her perspective and point of view. Brilliant.

As soon as clarity entered the scene, understanding and fresh perspective followed. I was able to twist myself out from the rock and hard place and keep walking along on my merry way. Am I saying that positive thinking got me out? No. Maybe I'm suggesting that understanding is the key to life? Nah, not really. Understanding is integral in knowledge, but revelation is integral to wisdom and wisdom is the front door key to living a full life.

All I'm saying is that clarity allowed understanding which allowed new pespective which allowed me to stand up and keep going.

Fade lights. Roll credits.

Thanks for watching Clarity.

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