Are you a curious person? I am. I want to know how things work, what’s on the other side of that faraway ridge, even why people behave as they do. I’m curious why I act as I do when life becomes difficult. Being curious is a great way to learn, if we are willing to put in the time to do a little research. Yet when it comes to curiosity about our behavior, it takes courage and honesty.
Years ago I noticed I was going through a similar experience that felt the same as previous experiences, but the players were different. I was curious why I reacted as I did, I then noticed a pattern.
The thing about being curious, is we have to be strong enough to ask the question, then brave enough to accept the answer. It’s easy going through life without seeking the answers to our questions. Yet the lessons from the answers are where we will develop emotional maturity.
Finding the right question can pose a bit of difficulty. We often frame our questions in a way that takes focus away from our behavior. A common question might be, “Why do they behave that way?” This places the responsibility for our happiness on the shoulders of others.
A better question would be, “Why did we react as we did?” Although a bit more challenging, this question causes us to accept responsibility for our behavior and actions. As we work through this question, we quickly realize our happiness and the success of our life, will depend on how honest we are with ourselves. If our intention is to live to the fullness of who we are, being curious about the “how’s and why’s” of our life are important.
Although being curious about our behavior can be frightening, it opens the door to unseen possibilities. As long as we blame others for their behavior, we are locked in place. Self-reflection can be difficult and painful, but in the long run, beneficial for our mental health.
At first I didn’t want to hear the answers to my questions. At some deep level I knew the answers were looking at me in the mirror each morning. Blaming others is easy, taking responsibility for ourselves is much harder.
Even though this inner work may be difficult, I have come to understand that the answers will set us free. Once I noticed the reoccurring pattern, I also recognized my repeating behavior. I could then ask myself enough questions to arrive at the root cause of my unhealthy conduct.
As painful as it was to accept, I realized I didn’t love myself enough to stand up for myself. Yet the pain was short lived, because I grew emotionally from the experience. I decided my happiness and well-being, were too important to be ignored when others ask me to change who I was to please them.
In a way we need to step back and look at life from a birds eye view. From this angle it may be easier to be curious about how we react to challenges, behave when others upset us, even how we respond to the inconveniences of life. If we are honest with ourselves, what we see may teach us some important lessons about how we move through life.
Life changes happen to all of us. How we handle these challenges will depend on how curious we are to uncover the reasons for our behavior. Are we comfortable with how we act? Or are we curious enough to learn from the experience. The quality of our life may hinge on how curious we are.
Are we curious enough to self-reflect on our behavior, then grow emotionally from what we have learned? Let me know what you think. Leave a comment or question, below. I’m always open to exploring the subject further.
Each week I email an article to those who have subscribed to my weekly. This week I wrote about forgiveness. Here is an excerpt.
The challenge with forgiveness is thinking that if we forgive the person who caused our pain, we release them from their responsibility for hurting us. This is one reason we choose to remain angry. We may also believe our anger harms them, justifying our resentment. It is said, “anger is a poison we swallow, hoping it hurts those who harmed us.” To heal we must forgive.
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I’m excited to announce my book, “A Complete Life, Discovering Your Authentic Self’ has been voted a finalist in the National Indie Excellence awards. www.indieexcellence.com
I want to thank the authors, organizers, and judges, for making this year’s competition a success. I would also like to give a big thumbs up to all those who took the risk and entered this competition. Nice work everyone!
In the latest issue of Conscious Shift Magazine you will find my article, “Handcuffs.” Do we handcuff ourselves from living the best life possible because of our limiting beliefs?
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Check out Conscious Shift Magazine, a great resource for guidance and inspiration.
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Peace and Well-Being, Paul
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