Thursday, April 17, 2008

K-E-Y... Why? Because it's What You Need


Why is this happening to me?

Why does this keep happening to me?

Why is she/he like this?

Often these questions are asked in lament, with a tinge of hopelessness in the air. Sometimes when things are particularly acute or have been going on for too long, the "why" question is angry, indignant, and self-righteous. It's not fair, not right, not how it's supposed to be. Why is a popular question when people start to check in with what's troubling them.

The truth about the "why" question at these moments is that we already know the answer, and it's a simple one: this is what we need to feel right now. I am learning more and more for myself that often things happen in my life in the particular way they do because that is the only way I will hear the message and get the lesson. Life always brings us the things we need, so looking at why something is happening always reveals at least one universal truth. There is a lesson for me here. For someone else to get this lesson, it would have to look completely different. But this, what is happening right now, is the way it will work for me to get it.

And there is indeed a time for understanding why, understanding what the stories are behind our behaviors and choices, shining a light on what the construction of our reality is and who is doing the constructing of it. But when you are suffering or first coming to grips with what's really going on in your life, trying to find reasons and causes only distracts you from what's troubling you. When you are in pain, it's just not helpful to think about how you got there or how to get out. What is required of you in these moments is to be in the pain, if you can. And if you can't, then what is required of you is to be in the pain of that. That is the K-E-Y to getting to what's really going on.

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