The Importance of Why

A client remarked to me the other day, “When the why is strong enough, the how will follow.” As I reflected upon this with her, I was once again brought back to one of my favourite words: curiosity.

People come to therapy because they want something to be fixed; they want to feel better. Sometimes that comes with a clarity as to what they are struggling with; other times it is obscure or hidden from them and they are basing their presenting issue on feelings or symptoms. In any case, whether they realize it or not,  what they are seeking is the ‘why.’

We often rush to seek solution which makes total sense – after all, we are feeling crummy and want it to end. If we can find immediate relief, we alleviate the symptom. Unfortunately, this type of relief is usually temporary (think of the way we soothe ourselves with food, alcohol or marijuana), and the more encompassing issue is still present, just waiting around for us to do something about it.

And this is where the ‘why’ comes in. When we can gain a greater understanding of how our patterns, core beliefs and relationship dynamics were formed, we can move towards acceptance. The freedom of letting go of something that weighs us down is what allows structural change to form.

When the why is strong enough, the how will follow. Bottom line: we can allow ourselves to push past fear to where curiosity is patiently waiting for us.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Why”

  1. OMG! I absolutely love this blog post!! Many years ago a wise old priest encouraged me to change my 3 word question from “why” to “how” . I realize now this got me through the immediate crisis only. He forgot to complete his advice with “ when the sea calms allow your why to surface and heal and accept the knowledge Of the reason of how. Surpressed why’s cause physical and emotional bondage. Thank you! 🙏

    • Thank you Cathy for your feedback and wise words. I love the saying that you have quoted about the sea. Blessings to you!


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