I ask a lot of questions in my book and in my life; doing so is the basis of both the work and the Work of finding our way in life and through Life, in story and in Story, in our journey and in the Hero journey that is every life-time spent.
Asking questions is how we start off engaging with our life, even as babies and toddlers. After the natural, instinctive curiosity of ‘That?’ to define our surroundings, and soon after ‘Mine?’ becomes the declarative ‘Mine!’ we move quickly into the danger zone of questions:
Asking ‘why’ is lovely. It’s pushy, to ourselves and to others around us. It pushes boundaries, understandings, norms, and entrenchment. It’s often perceived as demanding, as asking why can unsettle a shaky authority and states that the person asking has as much ‘right’ as anyone else. Why is the mover of principle and the test of character from here to the Pearly Gates.
But ‘why’ also has a shadow power: Doubt.
Asking it at a wrong moment in your personal journey can cause chaos and confusion and, well, self-doubt as you thrash with an unanswerable knot.
Why did I do that?
Why did I choose that? Or why did I choose this?
Why is this going on in my life.
Why is that the rule?
It’s both a powerful question and a hazardous one, because often as not, there may not be an answer. Or the answer may be I don’t know.
And let’s face it:
Why do I love thee? …
is a very different question than
How do I love thee…?
Here’s where the asking the right question comes in when defining one’s path from here, the choices looming ahead, and when fathoming your heart to choose one’s vocation, calling, path and purpose from here.
I learned a long time ago in doing interviews with people I was writing about, from world leaders to loggers, that the right question can make all the difference in the success of what Truth is revealed next. One question can shut a person down, while another opens possibility and long, lovely revelation toward interesting Truth and knowledge. ‘Why did this happen,’ even in news reporting, too often allowed an opening for casting blame or ducking behind ‘I don’t know.’ So a new approach was needed:
How is more than a question of mechanics: How did this happen elicits the steps taken that created the situation, like a recipe. But it’s also more:
‘How’ is a question that presumes something already is.
It, whether answer, solution, reason, or direction,
and you and I are in the process of discovering it.
With ‘why’ we might be probing whether it exists at all, while with ‘how’ we are poking around knowing in our hearts there is a workable way we just need to understand. And the good solution always begins with a heart-filled understanding.
How do I use these talents and passions?
How does this work, my life forward?
How might I take the next step?
How does this make things better, easier, gentler, more meaningful to me or others?
How do I feel when I’m getting a glimpse of what my path might be or the good my actions might bring?
Ah, yes, asking ‘how’ allows for ‘feeling’ and the compass to our truth and our light; there’s no doubt that the feeling is there, or that it’s acceptable. It’s already embraced and hugged and able to be integrated into the next step, no matter how gnarley it might have looked a moment before ‘how’ was uttered.
‘How’ is a question for the brave, like, you.
With ‘how’ you are accepting what is, that feelings can be addressed, solutions can be found (as they’re already right here), and that there’s a way forward from here.
So, ask the right questions of yourself as you proceed from here through the door of next. All the questions are important; asking the right one at the moment is the first step.
How do you feel knowing there is something you are here to do?
How do you plan to make that something the action of your life-time left to spend?
How’s it going, living on task and on purpose now?
Blessings on your day of questioning!