It is easy to get caught in the trap of questioning why when it comes to our emotional well-being or our relationships. Why am I depressed? Why do you do that?
We cling to the myth that if we know why it will change our negative emotions or bring empathy to our relationships. However, even when we can reasonably answer the why question, and most often we can't, we find nothing changes. But...why?
Why is a wonderful question when asked with genuine curiosity. When we are curious we are free from assumptions and open to exploration and learning.
Children ask why from that very curious place and often invite us to join them in investigating the answer. Why is the sky blue? Children (often the very same children) ask why from the back of the car while kicking on the seat in front of them, Why didn't you let me get that toy? " This is really a demand that a their complaint be heard.
As adults we are often asking why in the same grumpy fashion as the child denied the toy. The question is often a judgement that our emotional state , the situation or action of others is intolerable.
Why implies two things that may be true, but are more often not true: Number one: Knowing why will help us feel better. Number two: When we know why we will change it.
In our relationships our why questions often sound like criticism. For example, If I ask you 'why you chew your gum like that?' I am really saying, 'I can't stand the way you chew your gum.' Most of us cannot answer a question like, Why do you do that?, quickly and effectively. Sometimes we are caught unaware that we did the that in question. Asking why can lead to defensiveness as people understand on a basic level that if they are being asked why, they are being judged.
Why am I writing this? I am not sure. I am simply going to accept that I am and move on. I mean, why not?
" Wisdom begins in wonder." Scorates