I’ve been asking the wrong question.
As an educator, we often hear or say that there are “no dumb or wrong questions.” Um. This is incorrect. If I have JUST given explicit and comprehensive directions, and you raise your hand and ask for said directions again, because you were goofing off with your friends and not paying attention, THAT is a dumb question. There’s another saying in education, “Ask three then ask me.” Meaning, if you weren’t listening, you better hope that one of your three buddies WERE and can fill you in.
In Buddhism, there is no “right” or “wrong”, no “good” or “bad”, there is simply, “skillful” (will this take me further down the path toward enlightenment) or “unskillful” (will this lead to suffering).
I have been asking unskillful questions.
I have been asking “WHY”, when “WHAT” is a more skillful choice.
WHY have my last two long-term relationships been with deceitful men who treated me horribly? (daddy issues, alcohol, loneliness, the desire to show grace and compassion, blah blah blah)
WHAT changes can I make in order to have healthier relationships moving forward? (pay closer attention to red flags, allow more time before becoming emotionally and physically intimate, establish healthier boundaries…)
Introspection and self-awareness have their place in every healthy human’s existence, however, actions are ultimately where the rubber hits the road and change occurs.
WHY is spending a lifetime on the couch with Freud, while WHAT is spending 6 weeks doing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with Beck. Which choice is more skillful?
What is my next step? What behavior, choice, or action will lead me toward joy and away from suffering?
Light and Love,