Needing to Know Everything Can Be a Killer
Got a problem? There is a coach with a “ten step program” for everything, but this approach can be a killer.
The Story of the Poisoned Arrow
There is a Zen story that tells us of a man who was struck by a poisoned arrow. His family wanted to send for a doctor, but he bid them to wait.
Before he would accept any treatment, he had to know what type of poison it was. Where was the poison found? Who constructed the arrow? With what materials? What type of bow was used? Who was the attacker? Where was he from? How did he know him? Why did he choose him?
Before the victim’s questions could be answered, he died.
Are You Like This Man?
I have lots of clients like this.
Curiosity is wonderful! And there is a difference between being curious and needing to know. The curious ask questions to expand possibilities.
People who need to know seek answers to solidify the box.
For example, despite being a highly skilled trauma therapist, I rarely talk about attachment styles, shadow work, or any of the other technical jargon that is the current most popular thing because healing isn’t about understanding the box. It’s about getting out of the box.
Here are some examples.
When “Mannie” found out he had borderline personality disorder, he studied everything he could find and became a bit of an expert. Rather than use this information to heal, he used to to justify his behavior and manipulate people into conforming to his needs.”Patsy” was so blown away by her studies of homelessness that she started a program to “raise awareness” thinking that it would help. Raising awareness doesn’t actually help. It only gives the illusion of help and makes the doers feel good. “Etienne” is a self-help junkie. He reads voraciously and commits to doing one retreat each year. Despite all the “ten step programs” he’s undergone, his core issues are still there.
So learning about the problem can be a way to avoid actually solving the problem.
Before there was Sigmund Freud, Marie Curie, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Copernicus, or Aristotle, there were ordinary people who lived happy, fulfilled, conscious lives.
We have other ways of knowing. When your head, heart, and spirit are in alignment, that’s a space of knowing that is never wrong. Cultivate that instead, and you will be living life rather than avoiding it.
See what I mean by checking out the “Let It Go Now” podcast below.
And if you are ready to do something different, let’s chat.
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