So, let's begin here. It's important to set the stage and your expectations for what this journey will involve. Spoiler alert... no answers (at least not from me)! Why not? Because my hope here is to get you wondering, thinking, contemplating. Getting clear on what resonates for you and feels true to you. I want to invite you to a place of sitting with your own questions as you read (and journal along with me if you feel so inclined!).
I love and appreciate any teachings that ask us to discern for ourselves what is true – not to take anyone’s word for it or to buy into something until we have tested it out for ourselves. I highly encourage that! So, please, as I offer out ideas and ramblings, feel into them and find what lands for you.
Here we go with Day 1 of the A to Z blogging challenge with my chosen theme of Question (Almost) Everything! Thank you so much for coming along for the ride!!
As I think about answers, I notice a few things. I am aware of different types of questions – questions of agony that can feel judgmental, self-critical, harsh, or victimy; questions of hope and excitement that hold the energy of wonder and delight along with perhaps a little nervousness; questions of anticipation that hold an eager or impatient energy; questions of true curiosity, of genuine interest or desire to know more, without agenda. I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones that rise up in this moment. Oh, questions of “should” and of “right and wrong” are another powerful and predominant group.
What kind of questions do you find yourself sitting with regularly? What answers do you long for?
A couple of beliefs about answers rise up:
1. Answers are "out there," and
2. Answers lie within
So, let's look at them one at a time.
Answers are "out there" is something I've believed on some level most of my life. That someone, something, other than me knows what is best for me. I've had to work really hard over the years to get to a point of trusting myself. My first inclination is still to look for a book (or as many books as I can find) for any situation I'm facing. And, yet, this idea that the answer is somewhere out there has also led to a lot of pain and confusion.
As a youngish new mother, I didn't know how to trust myself. I remember distinctly reading all the "What to Expect" books as my bibles throughout pregnancy, infancy, and toddler years - they were pretty helpful in terms of normalizing stuff I'd never encountered before. And, then, for some reason those books drop you and leave you hanging! Where is the "What to Expect in the Teen Years?" Or "What to Expect when Addiction Enters Your Home?" Seriously lacking, folks!!
When my first son was just a baby, I remember feeling so lost and confused... one book is telling me to let him cry it out, even though it's ripping our hearts to shreds to do so... another says pick them up whenever they cry (didn’t love that answer either because we were exhausted)... another, "don't spoil your child..." It would be nice if the “experts” could at least agree! In those early days of sleep deprivation and feeling like aliens on foreign terrain, we desperately wanted anyone to just tell us what to do! At least that’s how it felt in that moment and in most moments of panic and fear.
But, actually, as I look back, what I really wish was that someone had reassured me that we would find our own way, our own rhythm that worked for us as a couple and as a family, based on who this little one was. Really...
Starting a business, becoming a coach, there are plenty of people ready and willing to tell you how you're supposed to do things - what's right, what's wrong - how to earn 6 figures in 3 days! Give me a break! But I still have to pause to resist the temptation of the bright shiny course. It's an effort for me to lean into finding my own way to do things and letting that be ok. The programming that suggests there is a right or wrong way to do things runs strong through my veins.
More often than not, I have to remind myself that yes, there are plenty of answers "out there,” but I don't have to buy into any that don't ring true for me.
There are plenty of people all too happy to tell you what you "should" do... very few who encourage you to stop and decide for yourself.
So, let's go on to Answers Lie Within...
This idea is one I very much believe. I trust that each of us is the expert in our own life and that when we are able to find the way, we can lean into our own knowing and trust.
I also know that that’s not always a reassuring stance either, because as lost and confused humans, sometimes it seems like it would be so much easier if someone would just tell me!!
So, my closing thoughts on this are we want answers, but we really don’t want someone else to tell us what to do, except when we’re feeling most lost and confused. Even then, deep down, if it doesn’t resonate with our heart and soul, I think we feel the dissonance. I also think that more often than not when people start telling us what to do, we naturally begin to shut down. We feel the disconnect from our own wisdom and knowing. We feel the pain of not being seen and heard. We wish someone would just tell us to find our way.
What are your thoughts about questions and answers? Please share your wisdom in the comments below! #AtoZchallenge