We have a unique ability to ask. I’ve read that in Norse mythology, the first man was called ‘Ask’. And whether we are aware of it or not, our lives are the answers to the questions we ask.
I used to ask, how do I fit in. And my life become a life of masks. The one that loved drinking, the one that cared about what was on-trend. The one that identified who was in the gang or not and the one who searched for approval. My life was full of empty quests and hollow sanctions. I used to ask, how do I become attractive and my life filled with men testing me on how much I wanted to bend before my own faith in myself and what I had to offer.
What you ask matters. Because what you ask is what you will spend time imagining the answer to. You will invest time and energy, your life, into questioning just that one sliver of life. And you will unknowingly or knowingly seek that which will give you answers for where and who you are. I saw once someone condemn others saying: there is no excuse for ignorance in the world of the Internet. But as with the Internet, the world will only return a response to the question into which you tune, with all its assumptions, nuances and biases.
Sometimes it will seem easier not to ask. Sometimes, in all the noise, the shouts and the whispers, it’s easier to tune into the mainstream. Sometimes it will be seductively easy to simply absorb unquestioningly, to drift mindlessly and assume that no active choice need be made. In our world, we are battered by images telling us what the status quo is, leading us down paths, preaching our current myths. And it’s a choice to accept all that is as is and simply shuffle along.
Asking takes courage to potentially see differently to everyone around you. It takes confidence to believe you will know right from wrong instead of being presented it. It takes consideration of the whole and our part in it. It means understanding before collaborating in someone else’s storyline or sharing yours. Asking means you have to step up as the hero(ine) in your own story and own the consequences of that.
To ask is to understand your life is full of choices and crossroads. Not just a couple of pivotal moments, but every day. And the questions that you ask are what will draw different signposts into focus. Some will serve and some won’t, but all will answer.
‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.’ Buddha