Beginning to Detect Self

by mereintention

Back to the fantastic book The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship by David Whyte. I finished the book just days before my granny got really sick and am just now making my way back to processing the information and wanting to write about it.

In the chapter The Doorless Door: Youth’s First Glimpse of the Self, Whyte writes:

“…all of us live amidst a thicket of questions forced upon us that are not our own, or at least not our own way of asking them. One of the first great steps we take in looking for a glimpse of the self depends on our ability to learn how to ask our own questions; the ones that make sense to us, no matter how simple they might seem. The first step toward the self is the step discerning what questions are our own, and what questions we have been bullied into by others seemingly taller, more adult or more educated than we are.”

I’ve been exploring this idea of asking my own questions, but it’s been hard to figure out what to ask, honestly. I’ve functioned in the mode of doing what needs to be done and making sure peace is kept, therefore not really having any of my own questions.

Whyte positions this idea as something to be explored in youth. Well, I missed the boat on that by a few decades and I think it makes the process more difficult, but I am also more confident when I find questions to ask.  Like I’ve had more time to formulate exactly what I want to ask (which may or may not be a slight perfectionist tendency).

I want to be more purposeful in asking questions that are simple. Simple, yet interesting and provocative. By trying this myself, maybe those I interact with will begin the exploration of asking their own questions. Maybe.

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