By Emily Suzuki, MA, LAC
Questions are an inherent part of our very existence and being. There are so many different kinds of questions; from simple questions that come from a child’s curiosity, to the scientific and deep existential questions we ask later in life.
How do you hold space for questions as they arise from within and as you receive them from others?
Are you able to make space in your heart and mind to sit with what is unknown? How does it feel to sit with this uncertainty? What do you notice in your body?
Are there any feelings and emotions that develop when sitting with a question?
What thoughts come into your mind?
Is there a voice of judgment or self-criticism that shows up and makes holding the question even more difficult?
How does it feel to breathe into that judgement and perhaps let it soften a bit?
While sitting with these questions, I invite you to start exploring your memories. How did you learn to ask questions as a child? How were your questions received? Were they encouraged? Brushed away or scorned? Were you supported in your curiosity and wondering or shamed for being nosy or prodding? Was there urgency, pressure, or rigidity in figuring out the solution? Or was there more room for an organic unfolding?
Now, consider this, how did your social location factor into your learning and sitting with questions? How does your culture navigate questions? Was it safe to ask? Was there time or energy? Was there a language barrier?
Like many things we learn as children, our learned relationship with questions influences how we hold space for them as adults. It’s likely your process has evolved since childhood through education, mentors, or close relationships, and maybe, over time, you’ve learned to hold questions in a different way.
Therapy is a place to help you hold life’s questions. We seek out support during times of upheaval, transition, change, loss, and instability. Inherent in the growth we seek is a process of change, which usually presents a series of questions or crossroads to consider. Such as, what do you want right now? What do you need?
Therapy can also be a space that helps you examine and be curious about how you experience holding a question. Buddhist teachers will encourage this place of learning, arguing that the question itself is more important than the answer that eventually comes. It’s said that in the process of arriving at an answer, we travel through a winding path of inquiry and reflection which can offer rich learning and growth.
How can you make more room for holding yourself and your inquiry in compassion? What would it look like to practice a little more gentleness and patience? For support in your journey as you explore questions big and small, reach out to your support network and contact Mindful and Multicultural Counseling in Ewing, NJ at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our services.
Mindful and Multicultural Counseling Clinical Team
Therapists and psychologists committed to improving well being and mindful living.