Tell us about a time you’d been trying to solve a knotty problem — maybe it was an interpersonal problem, a life problem, a big ol’ problem — and you had a moment of clarity when the solution appeared to you, as though you were struck by lightning.


I’m not sure I’ve ever had a moment of clarity in my life.

I often long for clarity to strike.  But at this moment, as I rack my disorganized brain files for a memory of clarity, I cannot recall a single time when an answer just came to me with absolute certainty.  This is the decision I must make! This is the course of action I must take! or This is the solution to my problem!

Nope, never.

My brain doesn’t work like that.

Instead, I usually feel about 80% clarity about a decision.  Then my brain takes the leftover 20% muddy part of a situation and picks it to pieces, magnifying every detail and blowing everything out of proportion until it destroys most of the already achieved clarity.  It’s like a puddle of clear water with dirt and debris that has settled at the bottom, and I come in with my rubber boots and kick it all up until the puddle is a muddy mess.  Then, after all this cerebral turmoil, I still have to make a decision, which I do, badly, and live with the less than perfect consequences.

Over the years, I’ve asked for a sign, a hint, something to tell me that I’m doing the right thing, following the right path, dedicating my life to the pursuit of something worthwhile.  I’ve never heard anything back.  No voice, no direction, no sign.  Definitely no clarity.

I think at this point in my life, if I did indeed experience a moment of clarity so strong that it hit me like lightning, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.  I’m pretty sure that even if I found a crystal clear puddle, I would muddy it up anyway because my boots are already covered in dirt.

I envy those who act with clarity and confidence.  I envy those with faith.  That must feel good.  To be able to live and act from such a place of solidity.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m walking on a bowl of Jell-O, wobbling the whole way.  Then I think, perhaps it’s all an act or those people are just fooling themselves.  I’ll confess right now:  I’m winging it.  I have no idea what I’m doing.

Which makes me wonder, is everyone else just making it up as they go along, too?  Or does the cheese stand alone?