When something challenging happens, the first thing we usually cry is, “Why?!” Think of the last unfortunate occurrence in your life. How much time and energy did you expend wondering, “Why this? Why now? Why me?” As natural as this is, it is not really helpful. In fact, we can get so stuck in the misery of wondering why a particular experience has happened that we paralyze ourselves from being able to respond effectively.
It is far more beneficial to accept each life event as it is happening and conserve our energy to determine what we need to learn and how we need to move forward. By doing this, we leave the role of victim behind and move toward self-actualization. A more empowering “why” we can ask is, “Why am I responding the way that I am?” Do my speech and actions support my essential belief in why I am alive and how I want to live?
Love As our Best Why
To be ready for the challenging moments that inevitably come, it helps to create a clear definition of our non-negotiable inner commitments. These are linked to our fundamental values in life, and they inform all the outer movements we make. Unlike goals that define what we want to accomplish in life, inner commitments define essentially why we do what we do. Think of them as intentions that lead us closer to external goals. Here are some examples:
- To make choices based on love, not fear
- To prioritize personal spiritual growth
- To share vulnerability rather than hide in distrust
- To live mindfully, present in each moment
- To know our true spiritual Self
- To live more from soul and less from ego
Without being really clear about our motivations, we cannot hope to accomplish what we dream of in life, and we will forever be thrown off center when difficulties come our way. Ultimately, to stay strong and on course, we must ask the most fundamental “why” of all: “Why am I here?”
For me, the answer to why I am here, and why I do what I do, is simply to learn how to love and be loved. I fuel this intention and inner commitment by my practice of breathing love in every circumstance and in every relationship life brings my way, to the best of my ability each day. This keeps me anchored in my highest value system and prevents me from dwelling on the futile version of the question “Why?”
As we determine our right “why,” we craft a conscious life and make meaning out of any challenges that are part of the journey.
Our thanks to Jennie for her guest post! For more from Jennie Lee, read her article “Living Love Daily.”