Have you lived long enough to discover that all that stuff you read, heard or was passed down to you by family members actually hold some truth? You know what I mean…when something you’ve heard all your life such as, ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’…or…’what goes around comes around’…or…’this too shall pass’…or a hundred other things. There’s a reason your Auntie told you to let sleeping dogs lie.I am fortunate enough to have reached that grand age of discovery: the lessons I was taught, I’ve now begun to learn. I’ve finally grown enough to revert to my childhood game of connecting the dots and man-o-man do those dots connect.

The path to learning and growth is paved with questions. We cannot grow without asking ourselves some deeply-rooted questions yet I realize it’s not so much the act of asking…it’s the art.

Ya gotta know what to ask. That’s the tricky part – the artful part. It’s not about asking a question. It’s about asking the right question.

Case in Point: Recently, I was hurt by the words of another and was confused and perplexed as to the best response. I understand that only those who are hurting and in pain are capable of hurting others and that resulted in me feeling upset while also feeling compassion for the person who hurt me. Evolved enough to not react to the hurtful words yet not yet evolved to understand the best response while keenly aware that this person was coming from a place of pain.

Feeling emotionally side-swiped, I decided to approach a friend with openness and vulnerability; I let my tears flow as I explained what had happened and he patiently listened to me describe what had happened and I asked, “Why did this happen?”, “Why does this person think he can treat anyone this way?” Of all the kind, generous and considerable wise words he shared, his quick analogy about the badger got right to the point.

                                          It’s all about the art of the question.

My wise friend gently explained to me I was asking the wrong question. He said, “If you are sticking your hand in a badger’s cage trying to pet it behind the ear and you keep getting bit, the question isn’t why is he biting me, the question to ask yourself is why do I keep sticking my hand in the badger’s cage.”

How does one thank a friend for such valuable advice? A common “Thank you” seems to pale in comparison to the lesson learned. As I envisioned the angry badger contained and lashing out, ding…ding…ding rang the bells of recognition and understanding. With that simple, yet visually effective analogy, the confusion and pain subsided, my laughter returned accompanied by a healthy perspective.As I thought a little bit longer, I realized the importance of the questions we pose…we’ve got to ask the right ones. I was asking why I was getting bit when I ought to have simply asked, why was I sticking my hand in the cage.

                              Asking the right question is not an act,
it’s an art and the right question will render the response
that will help you understand, heal, thrive, evolve and grow.

Just as it takes time to develop an appreciation for art, it takes time to develop the ability to ask the right question, the one when answered, will lead you to a better place; a place of ownership and freedom. If you stick your hand in the proverbial badger’s cage and ask why you got bit, perhaps it’s time to ask a different question. Perhaps it’s time to move away from the act and closer to the art…not just any question, but the question. And, the question is incrementally more difficult to answer than a question…and well worth the effort. There will always be the proverbial badger’s in cages ready to strike out and bite us and by asking the right question we are better prepared to not poke the angry badger.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

Source: New feed

Truth.

One little word. Four letters and one vowel which happens to be the least used vowel in the English language.

Truth bends better than yoga.

Truth conceals better than magic.

Truth appears to fall prey to lies, deceit, ego and weakness but it doesn’t. Truth always catches up in the end.

Always.

As I sat listening to the young woman tell her story I realized she had captivated the room. She was not a professional, polished speaker. She did not use eloquent language or flowery, descriptive words. She did not stand in front of the room or behind a podium, she simply sat at a table. At times her speech was halted, she frequently relied on fillers such as “um” and more than once had to stop because she had begun to cry.

She was one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. She spoke the language of Truth.

We had gathered as volunteers for a non-profit organization that helps abused women get back on their feet. We had been talking amongst ourselves, a number of people were snacking and others were reading or doodling. Her first sentence quieted the room. “I started getting sexually abused when I was five and it went on until I was eleven.”  Truth. The chatter stopped. The snacking stopped. All attention was on her, no one doodled. In a matter of minutes by speaking without blame or shame, Truth resonated throughout the room. I’m not sure when I’ve been in such close proximity to someone so strong.

Later as I looked at the words Truth on the bracelet she made that adorned my wrist, I thought about her strength. I thought about how difficult it can be to tell the Truth. It’s so easy not to – and more and more our society accepts it.

We tell ‘white lies’ because we say we want to protect someone, because we love them, we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or we don’t want to be mean or unkind. If we are being truthful with ourselves (and we often are not), we don’t tell the Truth because we’re afraid. It can be hard to tell the Truth. We have to confront issues, people, feelings and circumstances that make us uncomfortable. Telling the Truth holds us accountable, we have to take responsibility, we have to face ourselves and it humbles us.

It is easy to become confused by lies we are told and to become veiled in lies we tell ourselves. It happens to all of us; it happened to me. I was lied to for years by my former husband and only after the marriage mercifully died was I able to fully recognize Truth. He lied to me out of weakness, I lied to myself for the same reason. We both took what we thought was the easy road until the road became unmanageable. Truth began to appear around every corner, refusing to be ignored like the monster in the horror movie that keeps showing up.

Truth will ultimately shred the veils of secrecy, ignorance and denial. Truth doesn’t care if you are afraid and isn’t concerned if you are weak. Truth can be harsh and painful. Some welcome Truth, some do not and either way, Truth is going to get in and have the final say.

As the young woman fearlessly told her story I was moved by her strength and was inspired to see how flattering Truth is in the end because in the beginning Truth isn’t always pretty or polite.I recalled a comment I made a couple of years ago to my soon-to-be former husband. I had finally found the courage to welcome Truth into my life and escort him out and I said, “If you ever tell a lie about me, I will tell the truth about you”. At that time I remembered hearing myself say those words and was aware at how foreign they sounded. I watched as his face turn pale with fear not fully recognizing what I was seeing. Today, as I sat listening to the young woman, I realized for the first time, those words I spoke that day were the Truth entering my life and speaking up. The Truth had begun to take hold and teach me how to tap into my strength before I even recognized it had arrived. Truth, I’m so glad you came…please plan to stick around.

             “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

                                              Henry David Thoreau

Thanks for reading,

~ Haven

Source: New feed