Often our daily lives are spent simply "doing the work". In our day-to-day lives the BIG questions that shape the types of people we will be are often moved to the backburner. This, of course, can be a good thing. Sometimes the "big" questions need to "simmer" a bit before they can be fully addressed. "What questions?" you may ask. I'm talking about questions like:
- What do I do with negative thoughts and difficult emotions?
- How am I going to reconcile with that loved one with whom I've had a conflict?
- How can I become a more attentive friend or partner?
- Where do I find rest and solace?
- What does it mean to be a "good" or "ethical" person?
These sorts of "backburner" questions are often addressed in an ad hoc, improvised, "as-you-go" manner. And there's nothing wrong with that. A lot of what makes us who we are happens "along the way" - while we're journeying through daily life, doing what we do.
I wonder, though, what it might look like for us to take time to intentionally address the "central questions" that shape who you are? Your questions may look different than mine. But, if my intuition is accurate, we all have those BIG questions that loom large in the back of our minds that we never seem to find the time to address. Maybe the idea of grappling with these big questions is scary for you. Or perhaps, you cannot imagine finding the time to address the core realities of your identity in the midst of the busyness of your life. That's defintiely a challenge.
In my own life and especially in my work as a chaplain I have found that making time to ask and work with these "big questions" often leads me to more fulfillment, meaning, and clarity in my work and in my relationships. What does this look like, though? Maybe you can take some time away to journal, pray, meditate, and reflect? Maybe, you will make that phone call to a friend of family member you've been avoiding. Maybe you reconnect with a spiritual practice. Whatever this looks like for you, I encourage you to find some time and space to take the lid off those simmering backburner questions of your life and taste them again. You might be surprised where the journey will lead. Perhaps, you will gain some new insight into what makes you who you are and experience new growth. I hope you do!