Surely you are aware that a grain of sand irritates the tissue of an oyster and that irritation produces a pearl. How interesting that something so precious as a pearl is designed to be the result of an irritation. It makes me wonder how we might use that as an analogy of things that irritate us in our daily life. Do we become negative and complaining or are we conscious enough to ask what precious good those irritations might bring us? If we are paying attention to what irritates us, might we just be in a position to see the possibility for something of great value for ourselves? Very often there is nothing more irritating than questions that keep popping up! Whether it’s a curious four-year old, the boss, our partner, or whoever! Questions can just feel irritating, but they come with great purpose! Begin noticing questions.
One way a teacher draws answers out of the students is to keep asking questions, allowing the students who are willing to dig more deeply, to find that the answer was within them all along. A counselor once told me that all she really needed to do to be great at her work was to paint a picture of an ear on her wall (as a reminder), keep asking questions and listen. She found that although her clients got really irritated with her, she realized that the answers they needed were coming forth! She told me, “I’ve never once had a right answer for a client; they have always had their own answers and my just asking questions was the key!”
Looking at history, I realize that we are missing many scriptural writings, as they were destroyed over the years. However, from the New Testament that we do have, did you know that Jesus asked over 300 questions? He asked question after question, and he even answered questions with a question. Irritating maybe, but wise! He was an exceptional rabbi and master teacher.
Questions are the ultimate answer to digging deeply for the answers within us. It takes time to contemplate what the answers might be. When we do, we have the perfect opportunity to take something irritating and turn it into a pearl! We can learn more about ourselves, others, and life. We can make more solid decisions and not be rushed, pressured or bullied by others. Never answer a tough or irritating question too quickly. (That includes, Twitter, Instagram and Email!) The fact of the matter is that the more irritating the question, the faster most of us think we need to answer. It’s almost a defensive position we take reflexively, when what we really need to do is ask more questions and contemplate. Those questions require time, introspection and quiet. Sometimes you need to request that another give you that respect. (Car salesmen don’t have a reputation for being patient.)
Really good questions cause us to ask more questions, to dig deeply, to consider alternative choices, to find meaning, to secure our core values and finally to take right action.
So I have a tough, if not irritating question for you! “What do you really desire?” What is that deep yearning in your heart? What is your spirit calling you to do, to experience, to have, to be? What makes your soul sing? I’m talking real deep stuff. It’s not uncommon that people will find that question irritating and say, “I have no idea!” Be clear that I’m in no way asking about your day-to-day wants, such as, “I want a soda, a new pair of shorts, a day off, or dinner out.” The word desire comes from the Latin meaning “of the Father”. The word itself has a sacred feeling. Often times the question, “What do you desire?” is irritating because we are afraid we will never gain our heart’s desire. So why be disappointed by giving it voice? Even if you are striving these days to become a minimalist, and simplifying your life, do you realized that you are doing that to make room for your heart’s desire? Do you see that all the accumulated stuff and all the wants that filled your life took the place of having your true desires? What is your heart’s desire? Will you contemplate these questions? Will you ask yourself more related questions, such as “What makes my spirit soar”? Will you write it down? Can you have more than one desire? Well, can you conceive of that? Can you believe and imagine that? Can you make room for that? Can you be willing to ask specifically for that? Can you begin to empty out for that? Can you open a space for your heart’s desire and begin to form a plan for that?
Questions are the Ultimate Answer. What is your heart’s desire?
Get out pen and paper!
Heart to Heart,