I woke up Tuesday morning to the news coverage of the bombings in Brussels. As I watched the pictures, I felt myself contracting. I was scared about the state of the world. I wanted to curl up on my couch and watch Jane Austen movies. I didn’t want to go out into what felt like a scary and unpredictable world. But this wasn’t an option.
I love questions. I can ask questions about anything. If I am in engaged, I’m asking questions. I have tried to curb this habit over the years, but sometimes I just can’t help myself and the questions just pour out.
I believe that curiosity is the secret sauce that makes life juicy and enticing. I have found that when people get stuck, when they just can’t see any alternative to their problem, or when life seems unbelievably hard, one of the things that can magnify the problem is the lack of curiosity.
Many of us carry the cultural message that pushing down our feelings—especially painful ones—is the best way to function in life: shake it off; suck it up; carry on; one foot in front of the other, and so on. But this just isn’t true. Pushing down our hurt and pain doesn’t make it go away. It just delays dealing with it until another day. And if we delay for too long, not only do we continue to suffer emotionally, but our relationships, our health, our very being begin to pay the price.
I think it’s kind of funny that we are born and don’t really have a say in the matter. We don’t get to choose our parents or siblings, place of birth or even time period. All of us here today didn’t get to choose if we wanted to live during this era of history or during the time of dinosaurs or 100 years in the future. We just come into being. We are given a life.
I really don’t like Valentine’s Day—there I said it. (I feel the same way about football, but that’s a topic for another day.) It seems to me to be yet another way we must prove our love for someone by showering them with gifts—overpriced flowers, impossible-to-get dinner reservations, etc.
A few weeks ago, I was in full-on productivity mode. I was on a mission to get myself ready for the New Year. I was making lists and checking things off like a woman on fire. Not surprisingly, after about a week of this I was not having fun anymore.
I often begin a new year thinking about what it will bring to me. I daydream about new possibilities—I’ll finally learn to play the piano or I will meditate every single day or I will keep my closet organized.