Questioning is both a typical human trait and also a task that most of us avoid. It’s true, being curious is part of being human. What’s around the next corner? How does this work? But on the other hand, curiosity and questioning starts to lose its appeal for most of us when it starts to be applied to deeply held beliefs. It loses its appeal when something in life leads us to wonder: Am I who I think I am? Is life what I think it is? Is everything I’ve been taught at school, in books, in the media correct? Am I a good person?
It’s the juncture between these two human tendencies: curiosity and the simultaneous desire to protect and affirm our beliefs where much of the pain and tension of people’s personal development journey starts. Fortunately or not, curiosity and an open mind can lead us to stumble upon information that resonates with us while also leaving us feeling that maybe what we had believed before about something was wrong.
None of us feels comfortable with being wrong. Being wrong can lead us to feeling stupid, or victimized, or destabilized. Being wrong can call into question how we relate to the world, others, and our activities. Being wrong is the unknown, because if you were wrong about this way of seeing the world, what if everything you believe is wrong?
I encourage people to look deeper when they label themselves as “being wrong.” Instead, we can practice new ways to meet those circumstances. We can create new, positive narratives about a human experience as old as time. One suggestion, how about a total reframe of what’s happened into:
What I believed was true before was a completely reasonable conclusion based on the information I had at the time. Now that I have new information, it makes sense that I also believe something new. This is how people grow. I am learning in a blameless environment. This is how wisdom starts.
Another suggestion, what about remembering the nature of the universe and how evolution is part of that:
Change is the one constant in life. How can I expect me to stay the same, look the same, think the same, believe the same things, as the mirror tells me that’s not possible. I’m a new person every day. Therefore, that new person I am everyday may come to see things differently than the person I was yesterday. By embracing the reality of constant change, there is no “wrong” me. There was just the me before, thinking then-me things, and now there’s new me, thinking new-me things.
A last suggestion (as I could do this all day), what about seeing yourself as a child of life. There’s a growing awareness that modern culture trains people out of so much of the freedom and fun we see our children enjoy, and that that’s not a good thing. Admittedly, some of us are naturally more prone to playfulness than others from a personality perspective, but if we look at ourselves as being human, just like children are human, and deciding that we’re going to reclaim the right to a human’s level of freedom and fun as it’s expressed by our children, then you’re seeing things more like this:
When I see a child struggle to learn how to walk and the different ways they try to make that happen, I don’t judge whether they’re right or wrong as they experiment. Really, maybe that’s all that life really is, one experiment after another about how to live. When a loved, well-cared for child learns something new, they smile, not worry that what they thought when they were younger was wrong. I can smile, too, when I learn.
Twenty years ago, at the start of my personal development journey, one of the huge revelations I had was: this vast store of ancient wisdom concepts and life-skills has literally saved my life, so why hasn’t this information risen to the top and been disseminated everywhere? After years of learning and practice, I developed vibrant health, cured my alcoholism, uncovered who I really was as the unique person I was born to be, fell in love with her, and then gently drifted into a expansive deepening of oneness with everything in my life. As you can imagine, one of the many after-effects from going from darkness into the light is wanting to share what I’ve learned to any interested person so they can have an amazing life they love, too. I’m here to serve anyone who wants to take the bold step of accepting that the highest quality information does not automatically rise to the top of the popular consciousness, and that all the answers we seek to life’s questions and challenges are out there to be discovered, learned, and mastered.
My sharing for the day, Love Ones: a basic tenant for lasting happiness: Question Everything.
Remember, you rock. And I love you.
Unmani Saraswati, JD, LLM (tax) became the Chief Happiness Mentor of Bliss Revealed after a successful 17 year career as a divorce mediator-attorney and a law professor. A lifelong student of how to how to have a vibrant experience of life, she earned her credential as a Certified Massage Therapist from the Institute of Conscious Bodywork in 1997 and graduated from Trika Institute’s Seven-Year Tantrik Yoga Study Group Program in 2010. Unmani draws on her ongoing study of ancient wisdom concepts and life-skills, 19 years of daily mediation practice, and supporting thousands of clients to bring out their best selves in the midst of crisis through mindfulness and education. She teaches the self-paced online program My Bliss Path™ and live streams with subscribing members of the Blissverse Locals community. Also, check out her free videos and blogs. To find out more about Unmani’s mission for everyone to have a Healthy Body, Strong Mind, and Happy Heart go to: https://linktr.ee/blissrevealed