A Good Question is An Invitation

39 comments

Questions help heal

When my son was little, he and I were driving in the car one day and as I was looking both ways to make a safe left hand turn, he asked me, “What are cheeks for?”

I was probably into some fantasy in my head and concentrating on my driving so I did not answer him that second.

Almost immediately, he asked more adamantly, “Mommy! What are cheeks for?” My mind was blank, I had pulled myself away from my thoughts and I was moving towards his words. It was forming in my mind what he was saying: cheeks…what?

questions help heal

He was frustrated I hadn’t answered in the two second since he asked, “Cheeks?” I mumble.

“What are cheeks for!” he yelled.

Questions can be big or small. We all have questions on our mind: What should I do first? Why does he do that? Why me? What should I eat? Why can’t I fix this? Why did I fail?

Questions and I are intimately acquainted. (I am in love with them.) I help people heal by asking them questions. (And, I also answer questions).

Here are some things to think about when asking life’s big questions:

1. Questions can take time to answer.

We humans can be very impatient when we want our questions answered. We may not stamp our feet and pout like a two year old, but we can come close. Sometimes even losing site of the question because we feel invalidated by the lack of answer. Invalidation breeds unworthiness and this then becomes the bigger problem. When we ask big why questions about what is happening to us, or what we should do about something, it may take time for the answer to reveal itself. Our impatience can extend this time, as it closes us to the answer. Ask and be open for the answer to come. It will eventually. Keep living while you wait.

2. Questioning makes us human.

They are how we learn and grow. Curiosity is a way of opening us up, questions dispel our worries, help us get new perspectives on events, and allow us to understand others. Ignorance increases intolerance. Openness saves us so much suffering.

3. Questions keep us humble.

When something is upsetting me, instead of assuming and trying to make meaning out of it myself, I ask, “I don’t know what this means. Please tell me.” Instead of looking, I allow. This helps me take a step back from the situation to a view away from the chaos–where I am no longer the victim– and I can see a new perspective, a deeper meaning.

4. To question is to care.

Questions portrays interest in a deeper understanding, an a act of respect. (“Re” “spect”= to look again at something.)

5. There are no dumb questions.

Kids ask more questions than adults, since adults think they already know everything or are afraid they would appear dumb if they ask. I have been afraid to ask since I worry about imposing on someone. I had to get over this one quick!

6. Questions connect.

I like to think of questions as a offering of love or call for love. Either way, they have the potential to connect through conversation and shared interest. The are great opportunities for people to get to know one another because it provides a witness to our most beautiful selves.

7. Questions are invitations to responsibility. 

Questions not only invite us to new perspective, but invite others there also. Some people are unaware of how their behavior hurts themselves or others. From a position of curiosity rather than judgment, we can invite people to be responsible for themselves.

8. Questions help heal.

Learning is healing, awareness is like bringing love and compassion into a situation and this always makes it better!

Do you have a question? Ask away!

questions help heal: What are cheeks for?

Leo and I: Summer 2000

(BTW in case you were wondering, cheeks are for smiling.)


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39 Comments

Cindy Brown

Jodi, this part of what you said is so timely today, “When we ask big why questions about what is happening to us, or what we should do about something, it may take time for the answer to reveal itself. Our impatience can extend this time, as it closes us to the answer. Ask and be open for the answer to come. It will eventually. Keep living while you wait.”

Go and read my guest post for today and you will know what I’m talking about.

By the way, that picture of you in your post is simply gorgeous!
Cindy Brown recently posted..A Serious Side to Everyday Underwear – My First Guest PostMy Profile

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thank you, and I will head right over!

nikky44

I LOVE questions, asking them and answering them. It helps in so many ways. It helps in all the different points you mentioned, but It also helps one organize his thoughts and ideas. It avoids conflicts and misunderstandings. It saves a lot of worries and time, and bring people closer to each other.
Asking a question is the easiest way to the Truth, and answering a direct question is the closer answer to the Truth.
nikky44 recently posted..Sisterhood Award: A smile in the darkMy Profile

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Yes, I love that, questions do help us clarify our thoughts! Great addition to my list! Direct questions always help people know how to answer! Thanks Nikky!

sgweaver

Thank you Jodi! I was going to ask what cheeks are for but you answered that one! Question: How do I learn to ask questions with humility and not be afraid of the answer? I have a million questions but tend to make assumptions (right or wrong) about the answer. Please help me ask those questions! Here is another. I so love your blogs. How do I learn to write with the same confidence?

Stanley

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It’s not confidence it is just a quick press to the publish button before I think too much! If you are asking God no answer will be frightening. The fear is a block, I know you know this. You know what they say about assumptions, they make an ass out of you and me!

Nikky44

I don’t think Stan that fear is from the answer, fear is mainly from the other person’s reaction or judgement. So many times, you will realize you knew the answer to your own questions, but listening to this same answer coming from someone you trust make it “real” and validates your own ideas. It’s all a problem of trust. If you start by asking God, and/or someone you trust, you will see that there is nothing wrong with asking. A teacher’s favourite students are those who asks a lot of questions, because it’s a sign that they are interested in the course. As a teacher, I never judged a student as being stupid for asking a lot.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Beautiful reply. I agree that I love when people ask me questions!

Harleena [email protected] Writer

Nice post Jodi!

What a beautiful snap of you and your son! I think when kids ask us questions, especially when they are that young, it means they are curious and wanting to learn so much. And by answering their questions as parents, we create that bond with them and it gives a sense of security to them as their running minds are put to rest.

I remember my kids and their never ending questions when they were young too, and how I used to get tired replying to each one of them. But yes, parents need to be patient and willingly answer to their questions.

Thanks for sharing. 🙂

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thank you Harleena, I remember being frustrated but loving it at the same time. My kids have not grown out of it!

Kelly Hashway

Cheeks ARE for smiling. 😀 Adorable picture of you and Leo!

My daughter asks a lot of questions and I always tell her that’s why she’s so smart.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Questions do make you smart! I should have added that!

My Inner Chick

~~~Questions connect. I like to think of questions as a offering of love or call for love.~~~

Such a powerful post, Jodi.

Gosh, I wish you were my therapist 🙂

I must say, I ask MANY questions!
Xx LOooove the photo of you and your adorable son. WOW.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Darling girl! I do online counseling and keep asking, I witness them all on your blog!

Tina Barbour

I love asking questions–always have. I have a lot of curiosity. I also tend to be impatient, so I love your point about waiting for the answer and to keep on living while we wait. So important!
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I can be impatient, too, but I have learned to allow it and not judge and it helps me become patient!

Corinne Rodrigues

I loved the story of your son – and you had me guessing about what the answer was – and it was worth the wait to see that lovely picture of both of you! Smiles 🙂

Questions are so important – especially the ones we ask ourselves.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Blue Or Green?My Profile

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I got chills when I read this!

Naila Shakoor

I looooove the detail in which you recalled this experience with your son! It certainly made me smile reading it and the picture with both of you smiling at the end? just priceless! = D. I love it when kids ask questions, one of the most memorable ones I received was from a little 3 year old girl, “do deers eat breakfast in the night?” LoL. I was tongue tied on that one. I am amazed at how their big little minds work, some of the questions they come up with are fascinating! Because curiosity begins in childhood and relates to learning and growing, I try not to focus on the relevance of mine or other’s questions but on the intent behind them. I do this with the understanding and appreciation of my own or someone else’s ability to embrace a child-like sense of wonder or curiosity.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Naila, That is so funny! Deers eating breakfast, such a human construct! It is amazing the connects they make that we would never think of. Oh to be in that state of wonder and amazement again. We start out so curious than in the middle of our lives think we know everything and then eventually we know enough to know what we don’t know. This is a new era. Thanks, darling, for the comment, so touched you read my blog! Love you!

Naila Shakoor

awww, I love you too!!! and you are so welcome! I am touched that my participation meant so much to you = D. “Deers eating breakfast in the night”, yes..such a human construct and a connection made by a child we would never think of. I’m so glad you wrote that because I couldn’t identify the words necessary to describe the idea of deer eating breakfast at night lol. I don’t know if you are into zodiac signs at all but I do know that you and I are both Aries. I read that Aries tend to have a childlike curiosity and playfulness, a resilient innocence, as well as a lot of creativity and energy. So lucky for us, it’s just in the stars that asking questions is in our nature (in addition to many other gifts, such as your creative blogs!) = D. I have a question, LoL..what did you mean when you wrote that this is a new era?

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

When we get to the knowledge point of knowing there so much we don’t know. This humbleness is a sign of maturity–a new era in our lives to be curious and wonder again, after being a young whipper snapper that thinks they know everything. 🙂

Naila Shakoor

Ahh, yes. I understand now. Thank you for clarifying. You are awesome, I love the way you think! = D

Beverly Diehl

One of my favorite pins says:

Question Every Answer
Answer Every Question

while that might not be wholly possible, all the time, isn’t asking questions how we learn and grow.

Love your “cheeks” answer. Cheeks are for smiling, indeed.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Love that quote, Bev. This is definitely how I live my life!

Brenda

Without asking we don’t grow. Taking life as it comes without challenging the status quo is easier but it’s not as fulfilling. I like what Bev said, or her favorite ‘pin ‘. I am an asker, good or bad, it’s part of who I am. FAB picture of you by the way, brilliant smile.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks Brenda, I guess I touched on what us deeper thinkers know. I am preaching to the choir here! I ask, but people pay me to do that. 🙂 I have an excuse, but that doesn’t mean I am not genuinely, absolutely, out of my mind curious!

Stacia

LOVE the quote at the top of this post. 🙂

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks Stacia, me too!

Laura Zera

Love this post, Jodi. Another thing to consider is that the person who asks the question must also really want to hear the answer to that question, e.g. display the patience to listen. It’s such a connection-killer when you start to answer someone’s question and they’re already on to the next subject, talking about something else.

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Oh, Laura, I know what you mean, that bothers me. And then later they ask again, since they never really heard you. Some people are distractible but I try not to be.

Monica

Jodi, great post! We are so lucky to have the ability, the capacity to question that which we see and don’t see. And you’re right we don’t take advantage of it enough. For without questioning how can we learn? How can we understand? Thank you for reminding us of what’s important.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

So lets start a movement, a question everything movement. i think we have to put aside taken for granted assumption to change the world! Don’t you? I’m all in for it!

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Bella

Jodi, love, my apologies for how long it’s taken me to make it back to your blog. I’ve been making visiting my favorite blogs in what seems like a snail’s pace with the bad WiFi connection on the beach. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I have to agree with Corinne–the best questions are those we ask ourselves. I’ve always been of the curious sort. My mother tells me I drove her insane when I was a child with the hundreds of questions I posed every day. I believe asking questions is a sign of an inquisitive mind; a way of finding a rational answer before we use our imagination to come up with a better truth, our truth. I still ask a lot of questions. I love discovering what others think. Questions allow us to compare the viewpoints of others with our own and they shed light on those subjects which we may not master, thus adding to our knowledge. I love that photo of you and your son. What a cutie pie! Your hair looks gorgeous! Hugs, lady!

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I knew you were away, Bella! No apologies! I’m a curious one, too. I love it! You have a great time! And give yourself a bloggy break!

Bridget

It’s hard to admit you don’t have all the answers. Especially as a parent.

What ARE cheeks for?

Karminn

Well for me, asking is really very important especially to the kids.. When they ask, we make sure we can answer them right because they are some of the people with retentive mind..

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