questions before answers


I am trying to live in the questions rather than rushing to find the answers. And I find a strange thing happening.

While my body is telling me on a daily basis that I’m getting older and one day it will have had enough, there’s something inside me that feels younger than ever.  I am thinking that following our curiosities does that for us.

Curiosity is full of questions.  I’ve been remembering when my youngest son Luke was five and he’d follow me around the garden asking one question after another after another about the plants and what I was doing .

I feel this is where I am – so curious, so many questions.

In rushing to the answers we can give the appearance, if not necessarily believing, the end justifies the means.  After all, it’s the results that matter, isn’t it?   This feels a lot like we’re saying we haven’t been curious and questions enough in the means but this is where we are most creative.

‘I was able to interview more than one hundred creatives in this research.  No group taught me more about the inherently tough middle space of processes and the power of integration. … The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness – actually depends on the integration of all our experiences, including the falls.’*

We would never accept a story in a movie or book without a middle full of struggle and questioning but our inability at times to see the possibilities in our own discomfort  and struggle – being curious about why we feel this way – means we don’t spot the adventure to become more who we are able to be:

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”**

‘The primary battle of this century is with our selves.  It is the battle between the self and the Self: between our existing habituated self and our emerging future Self, both individually and collectively.’^

This between who we are and who we can be is often the least controllable place we find ourselves.  Richard Rohr offer his definition of suffering in this way: ‘whenever you are not in control.’^^

Ask and it will be given, seek and find, knock and the door will be opened.  Jesus of Nazareth spoke these words to his disciples.  Which words do we notice?  Given, find, opened?  Or ask, seek, knock?  They strike me as being encouraging a lifetime of curiosity, asking, exploration, We have no idea what the answers might be.  It’s all in the questions we ask.

(*From Brené Brown’s Rising Strong.)
(**Joseph Campbell, quoted in Brené Brown’s Rising Strong.)
(^From Otto Scharmer’s Leading From the Emerging Future.)
(^^From Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now.)


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