From the time we are babies, we are asking questions of the world around us. What are you? Do you like me? Why are you different? How can I use you? Whether it is inanimate objects or other human beings, we are exploring the world around us, inquisitive about what all of these external things are and what they mean.
Oddly, the final frontier seems to be the internal. Our own self. What we do is gather all the data points from exploring the world around us and start to compile a narrative. We might call it a “worldview”. How does all of this work? And why?
But since we don’t really ask the same questions of ourselves, we are left open to a variety of unhealthy paths. The first is to believe what the internal things say about us directly. If a kid on the playground says we are gross or ugly, we begin to internalize that narrative. Another false path is a blind allegiance to our emotions. Even though we do not ask questions of ourselves, we cannot escape that we are confined (in some ways) to our own thoughts and feelings. So we learn to “trust” them, although that is not the best word for it. What we are really doing is trying to use our internal emotion to fill gaps in the external worldview or narrative, sort of like caulking.
What Are You Doing in There?
All of this, repeated ad nauseum, creates certain patterns of thought and behavior. It informs our beliefs and our concept of reality.
The fact is there are important questions we need to be asking of ourselves. Questions the external world can help with, but to a limited degree. Questions that can only be answered in the recesses of our soul.
By asking ourselves questions, we give our perception the opportunity to connect the external things we witness with our instinctual self. In other words, we have within us the important answers to who we are and what matters to us. And if we keep looking without to find our sense of purpose and truth, we are only doing half of the work.
Here are a few questions you should consistently be asking yourself:
Why do I feel this way? (Emotions are an alert. To what? Why?)
What matters to me? (Naming our values helps us understand our attitudes.)
What are you going to do? (Choice is your superpower, a blessing and a responsibility. How are you using it?)
Whom do I trust? And why? (This last one helps connect internal with external.)
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. The main point here is that it is okay to ask yourself questions. It is necessary for vibrant living. Stop assuming you understand what is going on inside of you just because you are aware of the shell housing your soul. Ask yourself who you are and what matters to you.