I am sure every parent remembers the sinking feeling of dread or ‘here we go again’ associated with the question “why?”. “Daddy, why does…..”, or “Mummy, why does…..”. “Why?…, why?…, why?…” The child psychologist would point out that it is simply the sign of a healthy curiosity on the part of the child asking that infernal question. And of course it is the role of the parent not to scream but try to answer and so educate and prepare the questing child to make their way in the world.
It would seem that there is a basic, and necessary, need for anyone and everyone to know the reason why such a thing is.
When things go wrong we need to know why they went wrong in order not to make the same mistake. It is the way we grow. It is all about deepening experience. But it is only when things pile up and we seem to be doing nothing but dashing round putting out wild fires and getting exhausted in the process that we begin to look beyond the obvious surface ‘why’ of each presenting problem and search a bit deeper for a collective ‘why’. What is causing all the smaller problems? Are we ill? Are we in the wrong job? Is this building up to constructive dismissal? Are we subconsciously causing the upsets? Are we to blame? Do we really need to suffer? [That last one is a bit of a poser!] Is the cosmos trying to tell me something or teaching me something?
In the counselling room the Counsellor does not act like the parent and explain the ‘why’ or ‘what’ of an issue but helps the Client to first explore a situation as fully as possible for themselves. That is the responsibility of the Counsellor. The Client needs to come to an understanding of the ‘why’ and ‘what is going on’ for himself or herself, for it can only be from an informed position that they can make any decision.
However there is a more profound question to hold in mind when we get to this stage in that do we really need to know why? Sometimes – not always – but sometimes the mere fact of accepting what is without question brings a sense of relief or deeper peace. The need to rail at the world, neighbour, politicians or God falls away. This is the beginning of wisdom rather than knowledge. This is the realm of faith rather than fight. This is the area of ‘going with the flow’ rather than trying to force things to suit oneself.
Of course at this end of profundity, when the Divine is being harangued as to why, perhaps the answer is also being overlooked – that is (pictured with an anthropomorphised shrug and outstretched palms up hand gesture with) – “why not”!
Have a great month