What questions do we frame for ourselves at the end of the day? What are the questions that have caused us to soul-search and perhaps take a new path? What questions have forced you to look at something a different way?
Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers. There are some that resonate so deeply with us, we may spend a lifetime trying to answer them. In her piece about the beauty of these profound questions, Karen Horneffer-Ginter identifies some that have been meaningful to her:
When used properly, questions have the potential to connect us to the world of another. A heartfelt “How are you?” or “How was your day?” can become the bridge that keeps us in relationship to the lives of those we love. Sometimes, too, questions create a bridge within ourselves, allowing us to hear what’s going on at a deeper level. We know when we’ve encountered a question that has this potential because it stays with us — maybe for the day, maybe for our whole lives. It taps us on the shoulder to wake us up, or it wiggles its way in more deeply, opening us up to seeing things in a new way.
I still recall first encountering Judith Duerk’s chorus of questions about how my life might have been different if there had been a sacred circle to step into. Mary Oliver asking me about my plans for this one wild and precious life, Oriah Mountain Dreamer wanting to know what I ache for and if I dare to dream of meeting my heart’s longing, and Angeles Arrien reminding me of the questions asked in some indigenous cultures: When did you stop singing? When did you stop dancing? I think of my friend Ming,asking me at lunch one day if I thought writing was my fullest and truest expression. All these questions have remained close companions across the years.
And just the framing of the question can be significant, as she suggests. Consider the difference between ‘What do I have to do today?’ and ‘What do I get to do today?’ That simple shift helps us move from feeling burdened to being grateful for all the opportunities presented by the day.
What are the questions that have been your close companions? What do you get to do today to help answer them?