A number of clients lately have been asking me the same question: “Why is this happening (to me)” The implication or follow up questions suggest the assumption that if one can figure out why something is happening, one can then stop it or turn it in a different direction.
A more valuable question is often, “How do I best handle this?”
It’s easy to get tangled up in psychobabble and left-brain analyzing when hunting for a “why.” It’s possible to create more difficulties and confusion than one started with due to the tendency to pick oneself apart, criticize, judge and doubt.
Sometimes when I dig for a “why,” I end up sinking myself in the past, in events or interactions or relationships, hunting a solution. But they’re past. They require no solution, or letting go may be the solution, or the solution lies in a new choice of action or reaction now.
When I say to myself, “It is what it is; how do I best handle this?” I’m offering myself a choice: do I act or react in the way I might usually act or react, or is there another choice. There may be a choice that leaves me feeling better about myself, or an option that feels right even if it seems to run counter to logic. If I sit with the question for awhile, I may find that I’d like to do X but fear the outcome. This gives me a chance to practice following my inner knowing, letting go of the outcome, allowing myself to trust myself. Trust myself to experiment, learn through experience, even to fuck up … the experience will still be valuable even if it turns out not to have been the best choice. I’d have tried. Or not – maybe I go ahead and do the not-scary thing this time while I begin to let go of that particular fear by practicing on decisions and choices that seem small and less scary for awhile, building my confidence and honing my skill with this new way of expression or interaction.
If a “best” choice isn’t clear, why worry? Make a choice and let go of the outcome. Consider it an experiment. Pay attention to what happens inside and out, then next time you’ll have a little more information to go on. Because there is no end, it’s all good even if it doesn’t look so from this physical world point of view. Pat yourself on the back for living, exploring, experimenting consciously and with attention.
Often the “why” is answered in experiencing the “how.”
That’s my reminder to myself today.