I was at a church conference this weekend, which scrambled my brain in that really cool “let’s go back to first principles” kind of way. It challenged me to do something, exert my influence consciously, rather than moseying along hoping something will turn up.
And the thing I do almost best of all, is ask questions. (I am also remarkably good at consuming chocolate.) The trick being to ask the right kind of questions. Too often, we assume we know stuff that we just don’t know. We assume our friends know that even though we’re busy, we still value them, that even though they are busy, they are still doing okay, that if things were wrong, or difficult, they would come and tell us. And that they’re not waiting for us to take the trouble to ask. And to listen to the answer.
Or we assume that we’re not important enough to make a difference in somebody’s life, or that we’re too much bother, or that thing we want to do is too difficult or somebody else will be better at it, or that we don’t deserve it, or even that we have a talent for it so we should definitely do it. We don’t stop to ask what if it isn’t just about me? What if I did this differently? What if, instead of asking the same question over and over again, we asked a different one?
For example, I could still be asking why I haven’t managed to find a PhD opportunity, and devoting my energies to trying to rectify that. But instead I asked, what can I do if I don’t do that? What was the thing I wanted to do before I went to uni? (The answer is that I have always been a creative sort, so now I explore my creativity.) There are people in my world that I can listen to, ask questions of, and give a voice to. People with potential, who need somebody to walk the road with them a little while and remind them of the person they are inside. There are stories to be told.
And with my new questions, and exploring my new possibilities, I am a happier, healthier person. And the people around me are on their way to being happier and healthier too.
Plus, I have given myself the freedom to explore my creativity, and come up with an Easter doodle. It looks like this (just thought I would share it with you).
P. S. My current blog post recommendation is here , about sacrifice. Giving up the difficult thing, the thing that cost you something to get, the thing you’re invested in. It does relate to asking yourself the hard questions (which frequently turn out to be Right Questions too).