Can you remember, as a small child, asking “Why”?
Why do I need to go to bed?
Why is grass green and the sky blue?
Why am I going to school?
Isn’t it a great question??!
Sometimes the answers are obvious and easy to find.
Others take some searching, some investigation below the surface…
Yet, they are there!
It turns out, grass is green due to its high chlorophyll content reacting with sunlight. The blue of the sky comes from the earth’s atmosphere scattering more blue light waves than any other colour, because they are smaller and shorter. (In case you have always been wondering..! 🙂 )
If you are like me, you may have found that some of your “why” questions received the legendary, “Just because!” answer.
Over time, I learnt that “Just because!” meant one of two things:
1) Either the recipient of my enquiries had had enough of answering questions this time around. (I didn’t earn the title of “Inquisitive Ingrid” in primary school for nothing…) OR
2) There was no easy, obvious answer. Instead, I had to accept it (whatever “it” was). Full stop. No further questions.
It’s just the way things are…
Now, I agree 100% that sometimes this is the very best answer! A famous prayer encourages us to “accept the things you cannot change”.
Exactly why grass contains so much chlorophyll, I don’t know, and I accept that, as it is!
Exactly why blue light waves are shorter and smaller than other light waves, which results in the sky displaying its glorious cloak of colours, I don’t know.
Likewise, happy to accept and enjoy!
This is the clincher: it is not going to rain on my enjoyment of the here and now, to not know these particular answers.
What interests me, is when (and why) do we stop asking “why”, especially when the here and now is not enjoyable?
At what point in our lives do we start to tell ourselves, “Just because”?
When does “It’s just the way things are…” become the standard answer, too often? Even when it’s not appropriate? Even when our “gut feeling” is screaming at us and telling us that acceptance (on this occasion) is wrong!!!
Back to that prayer referred to earlier. It also mentions, “courage to change the things we can”. Fabulous idea.
It also adds, “and wisdom to know the difference”.
“Why” can be a great place to kickstart wisdom.
I believe it is worth revisiting “why” questions, as adults.
Why? Because our happiness, relationships, careers, leisure and more, rely on good answers to these questions.
Not asking “why” and not finding satisfactory answers can be a health, wealth and happiness hazard.
To put it another way, living with inappropriate acceptance can cause illness, or worse.
Seen it thousands of times, from years of treating patients as a health practitioner.
I also know this from my own personal experience.
Many years ago I reached the edge of my ability to help others. As a very busy practitioner, I began to experience the early warning signs of a common complaint for those in my industry, “burnout”.
So I asked myself “why” questions and I also sought wise counsel, to dig deep below the surface for answers I could not reach myself. The end result was some time-off, then a new career direction.
One of my new patients last week was a high-level professional woman.
She sought my help for her workaholism.
She knew it was costing a huge toll on her relationship with her husband, and with herself. We ended up treating the unresolved trauma around the tragic circumstances of her mother’s death.
Why? Because I asked the right questions to uncover the “why”.
Malcolm and I have been trained to ask the right questions and to see beyond the obvious, surface-level symptom, to the cause.
As for so many others, for this lovely lady, it worked.
I learned today that she took all last weekend off from her work duties, to enjoy leisure activities for herself, for the first time in a very long time.
Again, “why” can be a great place to kickstart wisdom.
Wisdom is beyond logic. It is that deep place of knowing what is true for you.
It doesn’t always make sense to the world. It doesn’t have to. It makes sense to the right part of you – and that is what matters.
“Why” can also be the start of self-responsibility and freedom.
Freedom from your past controlling your present and your future.
Freedom from accepting, “It’s just the way things are…” when it would be better if you didn’t.
“Why” really is a great question to ask!
RECOMMENDATION: Make the time and the space needed and choose the right people to support you, when you ask your “why” questions.
HINT: Flippant “whys” will not provide wisdom. It usually takes an objective, trained professional to see beyond the surface and make the journey worthwhile.
When you do find good answers that are right for you, they are like priceless sunshine! Then you can run through the checklist of your life and make adjustments, until your enjoyment quota is full. That is wisdom in action.
What about you?
Are you ready to uncover some “whys” to discover your “wise”?!
We’d love to chat about it. Click here for options on making contact.
Best wishes, Ingrid. 🙂Tags: Action Change Goals Happiness Mind Self-talk