Becoming Free: Ask Why


“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

― Voltaire

Ask Why

If you’re seeking freedom from your stuckness, and you’ve been following this mini post series, called Becoming Free, my next challenge for you is to ask “Why?” Not the obvious, “woe is me” why’s.

Set aside some time to be honest with yourself about where you are now in your life journey. Not where you want to be or think you “should” be. Not where someone else expects you to be. Just you, here, now. Write it down as if you are introducing yourself for the first time. Be totally transparent. Don’t worry, no one else will see this. You can lock it up, you can burn it, but it will truly make a difference if you write it down. You’ll see.

I’ll give you a personal example. A year ago, today, I was drowning in my stuckness. I had just ended an emotionally draining relationship, moved out of my apartment the following week, and would have to pay two rents until I found a tenant to replace me. I was depressed, angry, mournful and hopeless (not to mention, broke). Thankfully, my Sweet Lord has graciously given me incredibly supportive friends who have been persistently faithful during my weakest seasons in life. Two of them opened up their home for me to live in during this big transition. In the midst of all the chaos and wreckage, taking a good look at myself was the last thing I wanted to do. Truth be told, it wasn’t until several months later that I would finally surrender and face my reality. But, for the sake of this example, here is what I would have seen if I did this then.

I am Leigh. I’m twenty-three and haven’t the slightest clue who I want to be when I grow up. I’m not married and honestly believe that no one will ever want to marry  me. In the past I’ve always had a passion for children and hoped to have several of my own someday. Now, I would never have them out of  fear they will be like me. I am a terrible friend. I don’t return phone calls. I’m not where I say I’ll be when I need to be.  I push most everyone away. I am torn to pieces on the inside and keep a smile on my face. Now, it is noticeably weak. I am weak. Everyone can see it. It is all over my face and gushing out of my heart in every word I say. I have no joy. What’s that? I stay at work late to avoid time alone with myself. When I leave work, I go running for hours until I can’t move. I don’t sleep at night, so I’m constantly tired. I expect nothing short of perfection and fail or quit everything I’ve started. Ever. My only planned meal each day is two  Activias when I wake up so I can take my antidepressants without getting sick. The thought of having three full meals a day overwhelms me with the urge to run faster and longer everyday. I am late. To everything.

Without realizing it, a lot of us have a ton of emotional baggage we’ve never dealt with before. From our past, we have regrets and resentments that may seem harmless when time has passed. In our present, we have thoughts of failure, disappointment, and hopelessness that come from the false idea that we are not where we “should” be right now. As you read through my example, you saw mostly what I wanted in life that I simply did not have. And you will find that, when you do this exercise, there are missing wants playing the role as missing needs in your life. It can be tricky sorting them out. But what comes next is the most important part of this exercise.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Ask WHY?

Why do you want each missing piece in your script? Is it because someone else said so? Is it because of a standard set by someone else you envy? Is it an expectation set on by tradition? Or is it just because it seemed like a good idea?

If you can answer “Yes” to any of those questions, you may be in trouble… I was. Totally submerged in it. Now, ask yourself this…

What do YOU want, because it’s what YOU want?

It’s what you cannot live without doing. It’s what the world is waiting for you to do!  It’s what you’ve run from toward everything else… You may not know the answer to this question right off, but have fun with it! You are free to do whatever you want now! No strings attaching you to what you were in that script you just wrote! You are free. You’ve accepted who you are and you are totally forgiven for the years you felt were wasted! Now you are free to be and do and have whatever it is your whole heart, mind and soul want! What is it?!

Why do you want what you want?

You are free to want what you want!

Be Free!

Leigh

P.S. FOR EXTRA CREDIT: Re-write your script, sentence by sentence , with your new eyes of thinking and see what happens! After all of your accepting and forgiving, you will be amazed at how much progress you’ve made and how healthy you are now! Don’t worry no one will see this either, but if it made a difference for you, I would LOVE to hear about it. You can comment below or e-mail me at justleigh.lh@gmail.com. Here’s what mine says.

I am Leigh. I’m twenty-four and it’s totally okay that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Turns out I’m going to be a writer! I’m not married and do not have children because I’m not ready… at all. Nor will I be for several years. I have a beautiful life to live and if I never have either, that’s okay too. I try my best to be a good friend, not to make up for lost time or because I feel like I owe them for always being there for me, but because they are important to me and I love them truly. I work part-time as a nanny and absolutely love it. When I leave work, I feel stronger and inspired. I am amazed at what we can learn from children. I sleep at night, very well. I eat all day long, and I’m trying to slow that down. I run thirty minutes a day. That’s all I will allow myself, and trust myself to control now. I am still late to some things, but I have definitely gotten better at being on time. To almost everything. 😉 

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4 comments

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