Asking yourself the tough questions can be difficult, but the power of 'why' might hold the key to a more balanced life, writes Amy Ryan with This is a Real Girl's World.
Why? That bittersweet question that has puzzled mankind since the dawn of philosophy. I don’t consider myself a philosopher in any way, shape or form but regardless, I find myself haunted by its resonance. If Darwin hadn’t posed this question, we may not have uncovered the beautiful revelation that is evolution. On a much more pitiful scale, today I ask why it is the essential question to uncover the reasons why we must use it with caution, why we behave as we do and uncover the ‘self’. Before you stop reading in utter disgust that this is yet another blog by a self-help guru who has found the path to self-discovery, I must assure that this is not the case. In fact, I think that the majority of it is utter bullshit (believe me, I’ve tried and tested my fair share) but the fact remains that there are some lessons to be learned. The main reason why I find the question so appealing is because it keeps me awake many a’ night for the simple reason that I have serious anxiety issues and that lovely question why allows me to over-analyse everything without fail. Without further ado, let us delve into the cautionary use of the question; why?
Firstly, I’ll highlight the reason why we must use it with caution when trying to maintain any sort of mutual friendship. I have often found the backlash of the question is not a pleasant one to say the least and that we must evaluate our receiver carefully prior to questioning. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that; is your friend going to have a f**king bitch fit if you ask her that question? “Why don’t you try to lose some weight if you think your fat?” This is a big no-no for most, though careful consideration of their weight issues and the closeness of your relationship may allow you to tentatively quiz further. I know I’ve felt like saying it many times for the simple fact that I’m sick of hearing girls go on about how fat they are when I look like a blue whale next to them (we all have a friend like that, don’t lie).
Another, perhaps less feminine, example of the cautionary use of the question ‘why’ is shown when someone is caught up in the love trap. “Why don’t you just break up with her? She’s a bitch anyway, everyone hates her!” This may seem like the logical question to pose to a heartbroken friend who has been hurt too many times but we must evaluate our dear friend’s willingness to accept that the love of their life is, in actual fact, a heartless, soul-sucking bitch/bastard. We all know how tough it is to leave go of someone who we care about and the delusion that love provides allows us to look past all of our lover’s flaws, to see what it is that made us fall in love in the first place. So gently ease as we push our friends towards the light by lovingly suggesting paths to their own discovery of their partner’s wicked soul. “Why don’t you ask her why she’s being weird with you?” “Why didn't he come to your birthday party?” “Why is she talking to that guy? They seem pretty close.” These kinds of questions may be replied with a wild flow of guilt laden excuses. In these particularly unpleasant cases where love has blinded all sense of rationality, we must take a step back and pull the zip across our lips. This, I have truly learned through personal experience and unfortunately, I had to throw the towel in and wait for sensibility to return. I'm still waiting.
“Who is this girl, she doesn't have a clue!” Yes, I realise that many of you will be questioning why I am so quick to judge my friends but I assure you that I've had my share of heartbreak too and I still struggle to maintain moral high-ground against those (insert Scarface voice-over) ‘cockroaches’ I used to love. So here’s where I focus on questioning the ‘self’. Why must we do this? Well, unless we would like to join our feathered friends in the sand, we need to try to see the light before our heart shatters and we become the lonely cat lady, or for the boys, the coveted role of the lonely bachelor who really wants to be loved. The most difficult thing we’ll ever do is come to the bleak realisation that we are in a toxic relationship but it all starts with the question ‘why’. “Why do I put up with this?” “Why do I do this to myself?” If you ever find yourself asking these questions, why not try to answer them? “She’s the love of my life” you say. May be true but how do you know for sure? I mean if you really think about it, it’s too easy to fall in love. I know that it’s obviously not that simple but maybe, like me, you handed your beautifully naïve heart over to someone who didn’t appreciate its value. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if your ‘soul-mate’ is blind enough to not to see the precious gift they’ve received then…f**k them. Again, easier said than done, but if you can’t make a substantial list of the reasons why you are with them, why are you still there? Every day you waste with a useless soul-sucker is a day lost searching for true love.
Leaving love aside, I get to my main point of the importance of ‘why’. I have only made this discovery in recent years following a major mishap that caused me a lot of regret. As a young woman in the prime of her youth (supposedly), I must live with the fact that I made the mistakes that led to the loss of a lot of precious time and more importantly, the pain of the people around me. The road to recovery brought me to questioning why I do what I do and I think that it allows you to come to an acceptance of why you made these mistakes. If we think about why we behaved so horribly, we may actually uncover a real reason as to why we did. I’m not talking about ‘Let’s talk about your childhood’ crap, more like admitting to yourself (no-one needs to know) that you were actually being controlled by the green-eyed villain from within, or that you may have been looking for a little attention. What’s the harm in it! The secret is that we all feel like this way at different times, yes, we all actually feel emotions! It’s how well you overcome these emotions is what strengthens us and how you deal with them that defines us. The simple act of asking ourselves ‘why’ brings us on a wild road of discovery that will help develop a better understanding of who we are and how we can become a better person. As the saying goes; Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect that suddenly realising that you are jealous of your friend’s success will miraculously change everything. You have to learn to accept this feeling and the deep, meaningful reason why you feel this way. Maybe then, you can actually be happy for your friend and depending on your pride and the collateral damage your jealousy has caused, you may even apologise for acting with such begrudgery and spite when they won the Nobel Prize. The next step on this turbulent path is towards the blissful peace that is moral high-ground; you may bask in the glory that you have slayed your demons within and you are in fact a better person. Success!
So there you have it. Personally, it’s been tough discovering these things in my short years on this earth so please, hold the judgement and give me a drop of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. I’m far from perfect; in fact, I still repeat the mistakes I’ve made on a daily basis so anyone who actually knew me would probably call me a big fat hypocrite. The reason why I keep my head held high is because I know that I acknowledge my downfalls and I want to develop as a person so that I may once again join society (no, I’m not in prison). I refuse to allow the mistakes I’ve made go unresolved and I will dig deep to find the diamond in the rough; life’s lessons. If one of your lessons is to never read this blog again, fear not; I’m sure you’ll have bigger fish to fry…one day.
Article courtesy of Amy's blog This is a Real Girl's World, which you can read more of here.