Curiosity is a Surprising Cure
TRUE CONFESSIONS –
I have a long history of being very, very judgmental. The effect of being judgmental is deep and painful and creates a limiting life experience - most specifically within relationships. As a metaphysician and one who practices living in the world from the inside out, it was a painful awakening to discover that I was the cause of my broken relationships. The reality, that all the chaos of my relationships was born from my belief systems and judgements, caused me to WAKE up, take responsibility and change my ways. I am thankful for the truth that anything that I create, I can recreate through my word.
What saved me, however, is my internal NorthStar - that place within me where love resides. For many years, my spiritual and devotional practices have been guided by my desire to leave the room better for having been in it. With the clarity of direction from my NorthStar, the decision to let go of being judgmental, finding fault and placing blame has become an easy and freeing. It is always about remembering who I want to be in the world.
How curiosity helps. . . when one who wants to be part of the transformation of this glorious planet decides to really make a difference, there are a few things one must do. 1. Learn to be completely honest, authentic and willing to own the reality of your behavior. 2. Cultivate the self-discipline to refrain from saying everything that comes to mind. Even though you might think something, it doesn’t necessarily need to be said. Learning this technique of delay will save a lot of pain and regret. 3. Make it a number one spiritual practice to: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This is how one begins to cultivate curiosity. Once the discipline of asking questions instead of making judgements and assumptions is in place, you will experience a freedom and ease that cultivates healthy and loving relationships. As the old habit of judgment is replaced with curiosity, you will begin to experience a lightness about yourself. This is because being judgmental, righteous and blameful has a weight to it. In most cases, that weight is rarely questioned and often, not noticed. However, once the weight is gone for a while, and the practice of curiosity coupled with non-judgment becomes a habit, you will notice the difference.
Consider these questions as a new habit of inquiry:
Wow, I wonder why she would say that.
Huh, that didn’t feel good. I wonder if he is stressed out right now.
Why did she not keep her word? Maybe I should call and find out.
Why would he break his promise? I wonder if he said yes before thinking it through.
She never returns my emails! I wonder if she is even receiving them. Maybe I should call.
He is always late. Maybe I need to think twice about making my appointments with him.
Can you see now, how delaying a judgment or holding it off all together and allowing for some investigation, opens the possibility for truth, compassion and freedom? And, here is another clue to look out for, if you are having a righteous reaction to something, consider that feeling is a definite invitation to STOP, BREATHE and become CURIOUS. It is extremely likely that your righteousness is born out of an emotional reaction that will not serve your desire to be a more loving and peaceful presence in the world. Instead of moving on that righteous impulse, try taking a few deep breaths and asking yourself, am I sure, really, sure that what I think is true, IS true?
The mere act of taking time to ask these questions will slow down your reaction time and allow the art of compassion to grow within and you will come to know yourself better. As they say, you never know how hard someone’s life is or what they are carrying around.
When the discipline of curiosity is utilized, the mind and heart open-up to new possibilities. In the end, curiosity is a very loving act.
The world-at-large lives from the place of reaction. Every time we cease reacting and instead mindfully choose our direction, we become a gift to society. Be the gift. Practice Curiosity and feel the freedom from the collective conditioning.