It's amazing the layers that can be uncovered when we sit with an engaged friend or a thoughtful counselor. What is it about this space that helps us identity new areas of beliefs to be healed? They certainly don't have the blue print of all your trauma and how it shaped your view of the world. Even if they have traveled your inner roads with you for years, they don't have the magical answers. But they can ask the questions.
The power of being asked a question with curiosity and responding with honesty and vulnerability is one of the most powerful tools we all have in our tool kit towards healing. What that engaged friend and thoughtful therapist are likely bringing to the table are questions posed with curiosity and compassion while holding a safe space for your vulnerable response. And what is the most powerful question they can ask?
This small question creates the potential to unlock so much inside of you. Like the key in a lock, considering why you do this, believe this, feel this is the fertile ground of exploring new parts of yourself that had been hidden away. Having someone there to hold the 10,000 ft view and help you connect the dots while answering this simple question is the landscape where profound understanding can grow.
Here's why "Why?" is so key to our gentle exploration. It carries no judgement, no threatening expectation, no preconceived belief. It is simply the curiosity of wanting to know more. I look at each "Why?" as the opportunity to peel back another layer. With, of course, the acknowledgement that this doesn't feel safe to do with everyone. It's a sacred space help within this question and the fact is that not everyone has the skill to navigate it without bringing their own stuff into the conversation.
When we're answering this questions in a safe space, held by someone we trust, we're accepting the invitation to look deeper. We'll first run into the standard response ("Because that's how I've always handled it.") and we could stop there. But receiving a gentle confirmation and question is the door opened on considering what else could be true about this situation. If you were to hear in that situation "Okay, I get that. Why do you think that's how you've always handled it?" you now have a few options. You can bail out and say "Because." (always an option!), you can say "I'm not sure, I'll have to ponder that a bit." and come back to it later. Or you can let the question reverberate inside and see what comes up in response. "I think it's because I saw my mom handle it that way and so I just automatically did the same."
This is where we start to unlock new truths. Another gentle question of "Why?" in this space might reveal that your house felt unsafe and you took on your mom's way of dealing with chaos to survive. Or maybe there's a strong story in your family of this is just how the women in our family do things. Perhaps you'll find that what you saw growing up was the opposite of this response, so you took it on to create a new sense of safety. What magic you've just unlocked inside of yourself! A new possibility has unfolded, just by asking why.
Here's the most amazing thing though - this was information stored inside you all along! You just opened the gate to allow yourself to access it. You created a safe space for exploration, invited someone in to witness and hold the safe space, and then let it unfold. That was all you!
Once you've become familiar with this space, there's a natural next step. This is when we start asking ourselves "Why?". We become the curious and compassion space holders for ourselves. We feel the triggered response come up and rather than attach a big story and get swept away in the spiral, we find a breath, a pause, and we ask ourselves "Why?". This is so powerful StoryHealer, and so empowered. A new path uncovered and a light shining on it to take the next step.