27 September, 2010

Incomprehensible "Why"

This 3 letter word is the crux of my existence. 

It is small; it is powerful; and it can open doors and allow opportunities beyond the imagination.  It is a problem solver and a solution finder.  “Why” is my word. 

And it is the word that leaves me chasing my tail because, although there are some answers to the questions we ask – there aren’t always answers to those questions.  It is those questions that have no answers or have answers that don’t make sense or answers that I am not given that can boggle my mind.  “why?”

“Why do we choose not to choose the beauty?”

“Why do we choose to sell ourselves for comfort and security?”

“Why don’t we do what we love?”

“Why lie????”

“Why not take responsibility for ourselves and our choices?”

There are days when I accept that I don’t have the answers.  There are days when I know that it is totally okay that I don’t “get it.”  I can live and have a wonderful life without understanding everything. 

And then there are the days when I have a full understanding that my life’s lesson is probably coming to understand and appreciate and even accept that I don’t have to ask the questions – there are questions that are not mine to ask or to answer.

  My life’s lesson – the lesson that cycles through in differing forms like a reoccurring dream or like 2 February in the movie Groundhog Day.  Same lesson, different day.  And just when I think I have it mastered, the lesson will come in another form; a form that hits closer to home, as if the universe is saying “Are you sure you got it?”

It is the incomprehensible why

I can’t count the number of times I have heard people say – there are no answers.  Or something like – Accept it and move on…

And I do and then I don’t. 

Asking questions was and remains part of who I am.  I like stories; I like facts; and I like information that allows me to paint pictures or put puzzles together.  Were I a cat, I am sure I would have lived beyond my nine lives by now as curiosity is part of my nature. 

We encourage kids to ask questions, to seek information, to deduce and create solutions.  We ask that people ask rather than assume…When I taught in Europe, I found it interesting that the children did not ask questions or seek information – they accepted what they heard and saw and learned as fact.  So different than American students; so different than the child or the adult that I was and am.  I drove my students crazy with my questions and my failure to tow the party line. 

There is the line between the questions that have answers and those that need not to be asked.  It is finding that line and learning to accept what is as it is and letting go with the recognition that we don’t need to understand…For me, that line is not always easy to find… but I am working on it.  Were I to have the answers I want, and were I to understand that reasoning behind the questions that currently plague my mind, would it change anything?  Would I be better off?  Would it make a difference?  The reality is that I most likely would not understand the reasons  if I knew them – thus I would have more questions! 

Why do people choose what they choose?  Why do leaders and politicians and groups and people and parents choose as they do?

These are the incomprehensible why questions; these are the questions that I know are not about me and that I could only understand were I to put on their shoes and walk a few miles; or were I to see life through their eyes. 


As Fall begins, I am releasing the desire to have answers to these questions; I am letting go and accepting that, despite my desire to have the answers… the answers are not to be had. 


Joy said...

Hi TE,
Love the insights you share..
Within my own life, I tend to ask: "why not?"..why not allow myself to love fully in this moment, to be all that I can be, to travel far if I'd like, to hold my chores for a day to sail or hike or play...Why not wear my favorite dress because I love it so, or eat that piece of decadent three layer chocolate cake because it is delicious..
There are many answers to 'why' that I probably will not receive.."why not" allows me to choose how to best color my moment and eventually my life..

Sorrow said...

I had a grandfather that every time I asked him "why?"
with out fail
would respond " why not?"
I think Why is the Best, even when there are no answers, even when there are only more "why's?" it is still the BEST!

Sara said...

TE -- I must be stuck in the same place as you. Even if I don't actually ASK the question "WHY," it's always in my head:~)

You are right that there are times when it's GOOD to ask why and times when it's not.

Then again, I think curiosity is very important to creativity. Wanting to understand the "whys" of life is part of curiosity.

I'm not sure we'd have the knowledge we have, however, if people hadn't asked "why" and then tried to find the answers.

Like you said, the key seems to be accepting when there is no definitive answer and not getting stuck in the loop of a why question.

Interesting post...thanks:~)

Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point said...

TE, I can relate to this so well. And for me, because I work in politics and am immersed in the election season, this question occurs in many forms where politicians, organizations, voters and non-voters are concerned.

The lure of the question is hard to resist. But sometimes, it's so nice to be able to ask questions that do have answers.

Mama Llama said...

Why is a very powerful interrogative. So often I wish I had more of the answers, especially when those "whys" come from my children.

Wonderful introspection, TE. Be well.

BigLittleWolf said...

So thoughtful. The incomprehensible why - as you say. Some of us are all about the why - and that can be good and bad. We keep thinking there are lessons if we can just "get it."

Sometimes there aren't, except that we got caught up in something we never conceived of, and everything that flows after.

Sometimes the "why" is less about us than we realize. We have to wander away from the "why," though it may not be entirely away. Asking questions is part of our nature.

I wish you some distance from the whys that ache, and the whys that recur with no answers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi TE .. great post - & the comments .. why? Interesting your comment re the Europeans tending to be accepting and not asking more. I certainly was warned off the 'why' early on - never asked in case I was stupid .. still occurs sometimes - but now I phrase the question another way !! & then it doesn't matter.

One thing you don't raise .. if we ask 'why' or we don't .. why don't we think it through .. mull it over - what we're asking .. especially after we've had an or some answers ... there's always 2 sides to the coin.

People, sadly, don't think & therefore the why doesn't occur to them ..

The aches from the why .. the reasons we feel, are not the reasons the other party/ies feel .. or understand ..

Often if we think about it .. we actually have the answer ourselves, or if not - we know why (!) we do not ..

Why worry about the incomprehensible 'why'? It will dissolve .. and in doing so - you may then understand ...

Knew I had to come back to comment on this .. enjoy the last days of the week .. Hilary