The more I explore the depths and intricacies of the ego-self, the shadow side, the more discoveries I make toward resolving any challenges it presents to my peace of mind.
One question, learned in early childhood by many of us, and that continues to present itself from time to time, is “Why?” At first glance this might be an innocent enough question. We seek to discover the reasoning or motivation behind an action, behavior or decision. However, the more I’ve explored this question or any answer it might generate, the more I’ve learned that the ego-self will never be satisfied with the response…any response.
No matter how well a person answers “Why?” – there can always be yet another “Why?” that follows…to infinity. It’s the disbelieving child inside each of us that relentlessly pursues such a line of questioning. It’s that part of us that will never be satisfied with disappointment or past mistakes, which is often when “Why?” comes up.
There is NO adequate answer to the question “Why?” that will ever satisfy the ego’s discontent with the past or what is behind us.
Think about it: do we ask this question when everything has gone well and successfully? Do we dare consider any of the bad when all we see is good? It’s only when we have doubts that this question creeps into our consciousness…and then, repeatedly so. It can be very annoying. It also takes a concerted effort to stop this unproductive habit. Rarely is the question directed in support of or to validate a person’s efforts.
The question “Why?” looks primarily at the past, something that has already occurred and apparently requires some type of justification. You can’t do anything about the past anyway. If amends are needed or restitution is required, you can’t go back and do over what was done. If there are corrections to be made, you start in this moment.
Bring yourself into the NOW. Start by asking, “What can I do in this situation?” or “What change can I make in myself to resolve this matter?” or “What’s the next right step for me to make?” Start from where you are. And sure, maybe an apology is needed or doing some forgiveness work. The act of healing can always use a bit of compassion and understanding.
But posing “Why?” in nearly any situation is like rubbing salt in the wound; it just makes matters worse. It’s coming from the ego’s need to be right, to make someone else wrong, or to lay blame and then shine it in a spotlight so someone gets hurt or feels even worse about themselves. What’s the point? Where’s the love and compassion in that?
For your own peace of mind, ask a different question…and have it be one that starts with anything EXCEPT “Why?” Then see what your ego-self does with that!