What’s your default? Do you react and get upset and/or complain? Or do you take a breath, inquire, and then act?
Inquiry is about recognizing that everything can be viewed from a different perspective, and that there can be (do I dare say usually is) more to the story. For me this way of moving through the world offers the most peaceful path. I experience an increased understanding of myself and others when I inquire. And in personal interactions it seems to me that others feel an ease when I’m putting into the space around us a calm, loving, cooperative, even supportive energy. I certainly feel more serene, not to mention that I can think with more clarity.
Taking a breath allows my brain and body to pause.
I’m not perfect. Far from it. But it’s increasingly evident that Kathryn Schulz is spot on, “trusting too much in the feeling of being on the correct side of anything can be very dangerous.” ~On Being Wrong
My experience is that believing I’m on the “correct side” is to say that I’m right and that everyone else is wrong, at least to some degree. It negates my own responsibility in every interaction. I remind myself that there are always two sides, two people who contribute to an interaction. I always have some responsibility.
My first introduction to this type of inquiry was in Byron Katie’s book ‘Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life‘
…”The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.”
So I ask myself, “Is it true?”