Asking Why. The Bottomless Pit Of Therapy?
“Why?” is a tricky question, often leaving us on a slippery slope. In fact, the longer I work in therapy, the more I believe this question takes us to a place of chasing one’s proverbial tail. You are already clear about why you want the changes you are seeking in your life but to ask why something is happening to us or inquire why a situation has occurred creates a sort of illusion. We feel like we’re going to make sense of it or that we’re being responsible and on top of the problem. We might even gain an insight or two but the way our minds work prevents us from ever truly getting to the bottom of an issue. The more we think about a topic or experience, the more our minds gather up similar thoughts and memories. You’ve probably noticed how thoughts and emotions can quickly gain momentum and sweep you along with them. Before long, certain thoughts have replayed enough times in your mind that they become beliefs.
On your quest for answers, change, growth and healing, you will need new ways of attending to your thoughts and emotions. You will need a flexibility or willingness to consider how certain thoughts and beliefs contribute to you feeling hurt, stuck or overwhelmed. An openness to new ideas and practices will serve you well and can help you cultivate the life you desire.
I don’t want to imply that therapy will never include the question, “Why?” but I will advocate that we use it sparingly. “Why?” usually takes one out of the moment, typically into the past. I believe our power lies in the present and I want to help you find yours. I share with clients the practices that enable them to access the power of now. Attending to this moment highlights our choices and what is within our control. It is also the only place where we can accurately assess where we are in relation to where we want to be.
Imagine you are walking toward something you greatly desire. You align yourself with this objective and, as you keep your eyes on your goal, your progress is steady and true. If you look backwards over your shoulder, your steps will weave or falter. If you do this often enough, you will veer off course. Perhaps as you walk, you realize you have become tangled or trapped in something that diverts your attention from your goal. This may require you to pause or even take a detour but it does not have to hold you back and prevent you from reaching what you desire. While there is no harm in taking a meandering route, most of us want to reach our destination as expediently as possible. Together, we can equip you with the tools and practices that empower you to move forward as effectively as possible.