There is the why that is about self-inquiry.
It is inquisitive. It expresses genuine curiosity.
“Huh. I wonder what elements combined to get me here.”
Then there’s the why that is really asking why the hell am I like this and not the way I want to be already?!?
The recent epidemic of the second kind of why.
“Why am I scared of my clients?”
“Why am I still procrastinating on this?”
“Why would I be avoiding something I care about?!”
“Why am I still not over my grief?”
“Why the hell am I not just making this happen already?”
All these questions are the same question.
And it’s not the kind of question whose purpose is to discover something useful.
It’s a monster question.
It says: “What’s wrong with you?! Why can’t you be different than you are in this moment?
Back to the basics of destuckification.
This is so important! Giving legitimacy to what is: always the starting point.
What you are going through is legitimate. That’s just the way it is.
Where you are is where you are.
It doesn’t mean we have to stay there.
It’s just that the nonviolent way to move through stuck is to give it legitimacy to exist.
To remember: I am not my stuck. I am a human being who is allowed to have stuck. And my stuck does not define me.
And even though I’d rather be over this already (reasonable! understandable!), I’m still in the hard. That’s just what’s true for me right now.
I don’t have to like it. But permission to not have to like it is what will help me get beyond it.
Once I’ve stopped criticizing myself for feeling sad, frustrated or annoyed, then I can ask why.
The two things I try to remember.
Thing 1. I would never be so harsh with someone I love.
If the love of my life were going through something similar, would I be really be saying, “But why are you still sad that your friend died? Why can’t you just get over it already?”
Part of loving someone is giving them room to have their pain.
Thing 2. There is always a good reason.
There is always a reason — if not dozens — for anxiety or avoidance.
It doesn’t matter if I can’t figure out what they are.
As long as I ask questions that are curious, inquisitive, patient and non-judgmental, I will always get information that I can use to move through the hard.
Harassing myself by repeatedly asking why, but not really wanting an answer.
Another thing to feel bad about! Downward cycle! A loop of awful!
- What do I need? Is there something I can do right now that would help?
- What would help me feel safe and supported?
- What is true about this?
- Is this my stuff? How much of it is mine and how much is someone else’s?
- Is this from now?
- What am I wrong about?
- Is it possible that ….?
“I’m feeling anxious because I haven’t been working on X and it’s super important that I make progress on it, and I’m not really sure what’s going on there.
All I know is: I’m in avoidance and I feel uncomfortable whenever I think about it.
I’d like to know more about this pattern and what can be done with it. Where might this stress be coming from, and what do I need to remember?”
Doing things differently.
If I’m asking why, I want to know it’s out of curiosity and love.
Am I giving legitimacy to my own pain and my own experience or am I trampling on it?
Because destuckification doesn’t work when we’re denying the stuck its right to exist. It works when we’re curious about what what will help us feel safe and supported while we’re working on it.
Okay. Done now.
*steps off soapbox and dusts it off*