The other day I visited a group in which we talked about the inquiries we make with ourselves and others while trying to work out life’s problems, challenges or concerns. If we observe the help that is available to us, we are pointed in a direction of self-reflection and if we need outside help, then we seek the wise guidance of counselors, pastors, mentors, friends, spiritual teaches, educators, books, podcasts, etc.
But, have you ever considered the types of inquiries we are making to ourselves and others? Now I am not talking about the specifics of said inquiry, but more how the inquiry is made. For example, when looking for help or support we are focused on getting an “answer” to the problem so that we can fix, change or improve the current circumstance. This seems intuitive to the best of us. For myself, I never really questioned this until I was partaking in a group conversation, which eventually sparked a new way to approach the problems, challenges, and concerns in my life. This new way is something I would like to present to you for your own consideration.
Consider this, when needing guidance or support from ourselves or outside sources, that perhaps a more helpful approach is asking for ‘clarity’ rather than ‘answers’? The reason this approach is helpful is that when asking for ‘answers’, it is assuming that there is, in fact, an ‘answer’ and it also narrows down your options to address your concerns. On the contrary, asking for “clarity” opens numerous doors, helps us broadens our horizons, feel more hopeful and less pressure some.
Words play a huge role in our lives and impact our perceptions. If I say the word ‘stressful’ it is scientifically proven that some of the people reading this will actually have their heart rate increase and start to respond to even the word ‘stressful’ without even knowing it. The same is examined when we asked for ‘answers’ verses ‘clarity’.
The word ‘answers’ retains rigidity, a narrow focus and in many ways can seem too specific. Of course, in the end, we all want ‘answers’ to life’s questions, but if we can shift how we approach those inquiries using ‘clarity’ to replace ‘answers’, could we cultivate more innovative, well thought out, creative answers with that shift?
Linguistically, the word ‘clarity’ is derived from the word ‘clear’ which according to Webster’s Dictionary means “easy to perceive, understand, or interpret” which automatically psychologically helps us relax a little bit more into a process. Plus, if we are able to easily perceive, understand, or interpret what we are facing – then we are inviting the collaboration of ‘clarifying’ information to help us attain what we were wishing for to begin with – answers.
Clarity cultivates simplicity. In life do you want the ‘answer’ or do you want ‘clarity’? Clarity will, in essence, clear the way for the answers that you are really seeking.