I Was Just Wondering

I was just wondering………when did we forget how to think?

A friend of mine recently suggested I write a column.

I don’t know where the idea came from, because she didn’t even know about my lifetime of musings.

All of us have a period of time during our childhoods when we incessantly ask “Why?” “Why do we have to go to bed now?,” “Why do we have to brush our teeth?,” “Why do the leaves fall off the trees?” We never stop wondering about things then, but when does the WONDER stop?  Fortunately or unfortunately, as you would have it, no one I know has ever had a reprieve from that question from me!  My husband would love for me to “put a sock in it” just once in a while, but I just cannot put a plug into my incessant desire to see the many flavors, colors, ideas and ways of viewing things and the world.  After all, I am a Gemini but perhaps it is more a byproduct of my profession as a psychologist and life coach.

Anyway, after the friend put the idea of a column into my head it didn’t take me long to realize that this was my opportunity to get us all thinking again, thinking about our choices, our beliefs, our decisions, our values, and maybe even our morals.

Not that I will ever give you the answer, because the answer would only be mine.  But with this column I hope to help you find yours and to have some enjoyment while considering it.

So what happens to the ideas and questions we have as children?  Where does the zest for thinking go?  In fact, how much do we really think at all, let alone have an idea?  The idea of having an idea gets quickly squelched as we try to conform, as we try to please, as we try to comply.

But what about thinking?  What happens to that?

Most of us have a daily routine that requires  little thought. We operate like programmed zombies, and in fact, in some ways that is exactly what we are!  We don’t notice the houses on our way to work until we’re thinking about buying a new house. We don’t really think about the way we brush our teeth.  We hold on to ways of doing things and belief systems taught in our childhoods and we don’t even know it. For the most part we do what we have been taught, more or less on automatic pilot, and we have very little awareness of why we do it that way.

There is a great story told by family psychotherapist Virginia Satir that discusses how a friend watches her friend prepare a ham.  She is shocked when the friend takes a large butcher knife and chops off both ends and tosses them in the trash before she places the ham in the roaster pan. She asks her friend why she did this.  The friend replies matter of factly that this is how her mother taught her.  Later in the evening the cook begins to wonder about it.  Why, in fact, cut off the ends of the ham? The whole idea now seemed silly to her!  She decides to call her mother, who begins to laugh lovingly as she explains to her daughter that the small pan she had would only accommodate part of the ham.

So this will be a column about how to rejuvenate that childhood way of reconnecting with the wonder again, by wondering about things.

The question at hand is, how many hams have you lopped off without thinking?

In other words, how much did you think about what you did today, and now that you are thinking, are you satisfied with your actions? 

I was just wondering………

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