Why are we afraid of asking questions that matter?

Quote by Melissa Senate

Asking the question

We’re bloody complicated people. Hah! No kidding! No seriously, we are. We go about our lives in such dramatic fashion, but we long for a life without drama. Peace and serenity and quiet with all the money, the luxuries, the material comforts sounds really like a must-have no? What BS! We’d be tearing our hair out, dying to throw caution to the winds and just give peace and all that jazz the royal slip. Who wants to be a peacenik?! Hrmph!

Let me park all of the above for a moment and get to the crux. We spend so much of our time hiding from answers to questions that we don’t even know how to question any more.

|| I’m your wife, the mother of your child. I see red when I see you. I can’t stand it when you drive, or talk, or eat. || >>>> What am I really angry at? <<<<

|| You’re my husband, friend, lover and father of my child. I’m really tired of carrying the entire financial burden on my slender shoulders.|| >>>>Why the fuck can’t I just tell him to stop sponging off me?<<<<

|| I am a working mother with a hectic work schedule. I do love what I do. Thank God, I have a house-husband!|| >>>> How do I assuage my guilt of not being around for my child?>>>>

|| You are my wife and the mother of my children. I married you because I loved you. Today, I don’t care.|| >>>>You’re just an unpaid housemaid for whom I have no love, no respect, perhaps never did.>>>>

|| You’re my aged mother. You’re difficult and stubborn and you don’t listen to my requests.||>>>> I don’t mean a thing to you do I? Why am I unable to tell you that I am afraid that I don’t matter.>>>>

|| You’re my wonderful friend. I always end up saying yes to wherever you want to eat, whichever movie you want to see, wherever you want to shop.|| >>>>I can’t stand my own inability to stand up for who I am. I am worried about rejection aren’t I if I were to just be my true self?>>>>

I had a grandmother. In fact even two great grandmothers. They never told me to cut the crap and just ask the question. I never learnt therefore to get to the crux of the matter. I always brooded, glossed over, pretended. But I was always afraid to say something because it might make me look, sound, seem foolish. I’ve been in love so often when I was younger, and I was always afraid to ask, “do you love me?” and my fears came true. They never did. It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But that’s what we do. We live our entire lives disconnected from our true selves. Now in the age of smartphones, the disconnectedness is even more. Each of us lives in dysfunctional families, societies, states and countries. We see what’s wrong, we’re dying to ask why, yet we keep mum. When someone asks, “how are you?”, why do we mouth “I’m fine” on autopilot, when actually you’re burning with anger, pain, grief, disillusionment or what have you? It’s the same with everything and anything else. Do I write well? Will I ever write a book? Can I ever muster enough resolve to get rid of my insecurities? Will I ever be famous?

Questions that are always chasing answers, provided asked. Who are we kidding?
Why are we afraid of the truth?

The 4 Qs To Get To The Truth!

I think we all have a few things that upset us right? Parents who don’t listen to what we have to say, children who’re stubborn, bosses and colleagues who’re on their own trip, friends who’re probably thinking you’re quite a dork and that really slow cashier at the check-out counter who you could shake, rattle and roll, or that lech in the train, who stares at you neck downwards (someone forgot to tell him that a woman or a person is not just tits & arse) and so on. Yes you and I we all have our pet peeves. Ever wondered why we get peeved at all and why the outcome of disagreements is usually anger leading to brooding, sulking, and just a blue funk? I personally think that it all stems from a deep-seated fear of rejection which in turn is related to self-worth. Someone or many someones somewhere told you something that in your mind meant, “I’m just not good enough!” and that was the beginning of the end of life. For there and then you and I decided to lead our lives steeped in lies. For fear of the truth. But what pray tell, is the truth?

What are the 4 questions that you need to ask that could perhaps lead you to your truth?

a) Who are you? Have you stopped to wonder what it means? 3 words that are being asked of you ad nauseam. Who are you? Are you a description of your physiognomy, or the numbers that make up our life, or the people who birthed you or the family that raised you? Who are you? Think about it. When you get an answer that is plausible, please, I plead with you, share, for I’d like to know if I could answer that query too.

b) What makes you get that buzz in your brain, that sudden giddy feeling that makes you go ‘wheeee!’ or feel that you own the world and nothing, nothing can stop you? When you sing, or connect with people or when someone acknowledges your work of art (and work of art isn’t just restricted to sketches and drawings and sculpture you know, so grow up, redefine and start taking pride in what you do, because anything you do is a work of art), or that heady sensation when you get money? What is that ‘it’? Define it. And yes, it has to be something that sustains your insides, your soul, not something momentary. Once you buy your snazzy big SUV, and have gone for a spin in it, and have received the admiring glances, c’est tout, that’s it. Then what?

c) How are you being in service to others? Now a whole lot of you may go eye-rolling in your head with this query. Service to others? bah! I want to know who is in service of me you may ask? Right. You’re done for. You are doomed to be unhappy for the rest of your life. Because the one thing I have learnt is that when you are in service to someone other than yourself, when your feeling of unbridled happiness stems from the help, service or product that you have provided, then money, success, and happiness are on a roll. The moment you start saying, ‘me, me, me,’ well, what can I say, that’s the beginning of the end.


I’ve been asking myself these questions for a while now. I know what makes my heart go thump thump thump excitedly and I know to some extent who I am. Yes only to some extent, not entirely no :). And I also know my fears. I know what I would like to do to be in service of others – one of which is trying to connect with people through this blog and start a community of people who really want to explore the questions that plague you as much as they plague me. But this whole exploration is a WIP. And it’s fun. So let’s do it together. You with me or what?

As always would love to hear from you. So go on, let me hear you. What? Louder, can’t hear you! Louder still! 🙂

It’s a question of Questions!

  1.  What would you do if you had for the girl child if you were given half a school and no teachers back in your home country? (If a contestant was asked this at the Universe pageant?).
  2. Who has been your role model while growing up? (Does everyone have one or is it necessary to have one?).
  3. Who would you be stranded with on an island for 10 days, an island no one knows of or has heard of and you are well and truly ‘Lost’? (Like the ‘who’ is more important than survival right?).
  4. What is your ritual before you go out to speak in front of a large audience? (Imagine this being asked of our Prime Minister!).
  5. Given a choice, would you be born as Shakira, Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky or Justin Bieber? (Get a life!).

:). When you pause and think about some of the questions that get asked of celebrities or people by others in the media or by people, you realise these are tough questions to crack. I mean, be honest, don’t you start thinking of Your answers to these questions when you read or hear about them? Don’t you visualise yourself being out there in the public eye and answering these questions? Come on, it’s natural, it’s a human reflexive action. I know I do. And I haven’t ever been able to come up with clever answers and if I have, then that has been after some deliberate effort and time. So hats off to those who manage to be quick on the uptake and clever and smart and aware.

Right! Smiling are we? Ruminating over your brew of choice? Hmmm…! I’ve been watching a whole lot of great Internet TV shows, by Chase Jarvis, Marie Forleo and a few others, I am struck by some of the questions that get asked and answered by thought leaders, entrepreneurs and brilliant people essentially doing their own S#%t as they say nowadays. Take out a diary, notepad, piece of paper and a writing implement and actually do this with me. I am sure of one thing: not many of you’d have done this. Get ready to expect the unexpected. Ready?

The Must-List of Questions that ideally every single human being should, at any given point in time, ask themselves.

  1. What moves you? I mean really moves you? Seeing a dog crushed under the wheels of a car, a romantic movie when the woman runs to her man and is hugged by her man like his life depended on it, 2 children holding hands going to school, an old man being shepherded by a young teenager across the street, song, dance, art in any form, your family, Mother Earth? Yes, what moves you, makes your eyes mist over, or skip a beat or feel a rush of emotion come hurtling through the bottom of your feet to the top of your crown. What gives!
  2. If the word “Fear” was erased from your vocabulary, if the “feeling of fear” was obliterated from the repository of human emotions, what would you do now with your life?
  3. Growing up, did you ever visualise your life, like a movie, with a beginning, middle and end? Every credit, every song, every frame clearly etched? No? Why not?
  4. If yes to the above, what happened to the movie? Did it bomb at the BO of your own life? You mean your own movie was worthless even for you where you were the producer, director, actor, screenplay writer, songstress, composer, special effects genius etc.?
  5. Do you ever make promises to yourself about the life you want to lead? You do? And what happens to those promises? Ahem…better not talk about it is it?
  6. Is envy a part of your current makeup? Envy at your best friend seemingly living the life you dreamed about? Or at that peer, or school mate or colleague who is doing ‘well’?
  7. Wait a minute, have you ever stopped to define the meaning of ‘doing well’ and ‘success’ for yourself? Sorry, you’re not allowed to look it up in Merriam-Webster. Your definition is what I want to hear.
  8. What does freedom mean to you?
  9. Give me an example of ‘taking a risk in life’. Remember there are no right or wrong answers, just your answers :).
  10. Now here are some rapid fire ones:
    • Do you believe that ‘friendships for life’ can also chafe at the bit and can become rancid?
    • Do you think that all parents are the best and always have their children’s best interests at heart?
    • When was the last time you had a ‘goal in life and goal of life’ and have actually achieved the same?
    • What is the meaning of ‘comfort zone’ and have you ever defined it, understood it and leapt out of it? Share your experience of the same please, I’d be delighted.
    • Do you still believe that your life here is ‘forever’ and you have ‘forever time’ to live the ‘life of your dreams’?
    • You’d rather believe your ‘screaming gut’ or family, friends and sundry others when it comes to doing something you ‘believe in’ but are hesitant because you are afraid of: rejection, failure, being seen as a fool, success, happiness, grief, pain, death, joy, being alone,bankruptcy?
    • On a scale of 1 – 5 where 5 is the highest, how would you rate the importance of money in your life? Please be honest at least with and to yourself.
  11. Have you ever wondered (yes back to the mainstream, the rapid fire was just to keep your interest alive), about ‘luck’ and its importance in the lives of people who are insanely successful?
  12. When people are critical of your behaviour or decisions or even about what you’ve worn or how loud your voice is, or the way you walk or the way you slurp on the tea, what do you feel about those making those judgements? Do you shrug and have a sang froid attitude, smile or do you actually want to shove something up their arse?
  13. What gives you a buzz? Nope, I don’t mean a Black Russian cocktail or whatever else your poison may be, no, not that. I mean what gives you that feeling of such intense joy, that it’s actually indescribable?
  14. Great you identified the above. What are you doing about it? Why you sitting here describing it?

I think this is a decent bunch of queries to get you started off now, so will somehow restrain myself from going overboard. And you know what? While you reflect on these questions as I will too, remember just one thing that I keep waking up to –

Go on then. Shrug, turn over (like a lover with a headache or a grouse) and continue to exist. However remember, life is about living, existence is a given.

And yes, please share some of your questions that you have had occasion to ponder about. It’d be lovely to hear from you.