Lynn asked me what a ‘difficult question’ looks like, when I suggested yesterday that you ask yourself the difficult questions in your life if you want to advance in personal development. Let me try to explain with an example.
Someone asked me once “Why is it that, even though my friend and I treat our children in opposing manners, I am strict and she lenient, we receive similar rebellious treatment from our adolescent daughters.” This woman was ready to accept that adolescents are all difficult and there is nothing more to it. We all try to justify our circumstances, whatever it may be, with rationalizations and conventional ideas that do not help us improve. When you ask yourself the difficult question you discover something you did not previously consider and it surprises you as well as development balance in your life when you act on the new understanding.
The question that gives you an easily accepted answer here is not going to change anything. In fact, if the answer to your question does not change anything in the circumstances, you are probably asking the wrong questions. That is the clue that your questions is not difficult enough for your ego to be challenged to think in new ways. The kids just being in a rebellious phase of their life might be true but does not explain everything. Each parent needs to ask what her daughter is challenging her to learn about herself that they are unaware of. Discomfort in relationships and circumstances are opportunities for growth and are not there without any reason. The difficult question is then to ask yourself how your circumstances or relationship challenges you to adjust your attitude and behavior so that everyone involved will truly grow and benefit from the adjustment, not only you or them. Nothing changes when you try and explain your situation with logic and conventional approaches or ideas. For instance in the example with the mothers, we find that despite the similarity in both children’s behavior while the mothers have opposing attitudes, these daughters are challenging their parents to give them emotionally what they are not receiving in their relationships. The lenient parent might have to learn to give more direction and assert boundaries while the strict parent needs to learn how to be more lenient and empathetic with her daughter’s unique personality. Challenges are always about creating more balance or to be more authentic.
The deeper you’re internal questioning, the deeper and truer your new awareness is. When you are willing to listen to your Higher awareness about the true challenge in your circumstances, you find understanding about what to adjust about your ideas and behavior. The answers we get in this way by asking the difficult questions are usually surprising to us because they are obvious and yet our personalities resist recognizing these solutions. Our conditioned ideas become imprinted points of views that we defend and we resist change, because we identify strongly with these imprinted ideas as if it is the only way we could ever be. We believe it so much that it is difficult to shift our perspectives. Our uncomfortable circumstances become the ‘riddle’ to our egos’ that needs solving by our willingness to adjust these outdated views.
When our minds give us answers to questions that repeat the comfort-zones we occupy, we are not asking the right questions. We need to ask the question that shifts us into a willingness to hear, see and do differently so our circumstances balance.
Usually the answers come from discussion and connection, whether it is between you and your Higher Self, you and your partner, your child, your friend or co-worker, or whether it is between groups, cultures and nations. When true listening takes place, a creative moment of enlightenment triggers a deep understanding that sprouts from the conversation that is new. When there is no new insight, someone in the conversation is holding on to their stuck ideas and resist growing. It is the engagement with another point-of-view that allows us to see and realize something new. One cannot discover an answer if you hold on to old or the same ideas of who we are and how things ‘should’ be. You have to adjust and move your ideas and point-of-views constantly to not be trapped in a holding pattern.
What ideas in your life are keeping you rigid, inflexible and unwilling to adjust for the benefit of all in your life?
You are invited to post your responses and ideas.