Just Ask Yourself, “Why?” | The BridgeMaker

Just Ask Yourself, “Why?”

By on May 15, 2013

Ask Yourself Why

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. – Dalai Lama

Are you happy with your life? If not ask yourself, “Why?”

For far too many years, I bumbled along living a mediocre life. I was happy in a sad sort of way, but inherently there was pain and mostly fear.

Fear had haunted me for my entire life. I did not know that it had. However, it had.

Fear hung around me like a dark rancid cloak, it smelt damp, if felt cold, it gripped me like a tiger holding its prey and would not let me escape.

Whenever I thought, I had “it all sorted.” Back it would come.

My mother was dying and I found out I was pregnant. I was nineteen.

After visiting the doctor, he told me “your father has enough on his plate without this.”


My partner was three years older than I and we had been dating since I was seventeen.

I bumbled along terrified, I told my partner. Although he was older, he was immature; still he decided to ‘stay’ by me.


I lived with fear constantly. Being naive and not understanding the responsibilities motherhood would bring, I bumbled on.

Eventually, I split from my partner after following him to Jersey with our son, getting a job and finding that he never came home at night, instead choosing to drink with his pals.

My son was two years old and I was alone again.

I bumbled on.

I continued to find relationships with ‘needy’ men; I thought it was my job to ‘fix’ them. I would build their lives instead of mine.

Fear was with me constantly, I chose men who brought no security so that I could continue feeling the fear.

Finally, I tired of trying to understanding how I got into the mess I did and wanted to know, “Why?”

A Passion for self-Help

After training to become an integrative counsellor, I went onto become a hypnotherapist, then onto gaining qualifications to train others in hypnotherapy.

Guess what?

After twelve years of study, I still could not find the answer to my question, “Why?”

Yes, I still was wearing that awful rank-smelling cloak of fear; still feeling pain, still feeling its steel like grip.

The grip began to manifest itself in my body. My hands would hurt from my clenching them, this happened outside of my awareness.

Within my awareness, I continued to feel pain and alone.

I was not alone, there were people around me and I had married a wonderful spiritual man.

However, I was still alone and the fear still haunted me.

I continued asking the question, “Why?”

Finally, the answer came.

It was not until I stopped rushing about fixing everyone else and gave myself real time to listen to my spiritual self that the answer finally came.

Finally, my subconscious mind gave me the answer.

I had never been ready to listen.

Although I experienced deep gut wrenching pain throughout my life, I had chosen not to take time to listen.

Your life is the way it is because of your thoughts.

Finally the Answer!

When I grew up with five siblings, we suffered mental abuse from our parents. I did not understand this is what it was, but with studying, it became clear.

I had turned experiences of terror from my childhood into a feeling of constant fear as an adult.

Being dragged from sleep and put into line in order of age to be told, “One of you is going to be beaten” had taken its toll.

The result of this frightening lecture was always the same.

Any child would have found this experience traumatic.

We did not think it was traumatic, we were children and that was the ‘norm’ for us, however the fear went deep.

The damage was worse for some. I was lucky. I asked the question, “Why?”

The question why saved my sanity as a kid and continues to save my sanity today.

Now I understand why I held onto fear for so long. Why I let it taint my life.

I hung onto fear because the fear was comfortable. Fear had filled my every waking moment as a child.

You see that is what we do as humans.

We hold onto whatever it is we feel comfortable with, even though that emotion may be bringing us incredible pain.

We hold onto it because it is familiar.

What a scary thought.

There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

Once we understand where the emotion was born, once it is in our awareness we can begin to really understand ourselves and lessen the damaging effects.

It can be done – I am proof.

Thank goodness, I continued to ask the question – “Why?”

I know in my heart I have not found all of the answers yet, however I have managed to burn that awful smelly cloak I chose to wear for far too long and it feels good to have freed myself from the grip of fear.

Life just gets better when you understand why you do the things you do.

Is there a question you constantly ask yourself?

Have you managed to find the answer yet?

Joan Harrison is a qualified integrative counsellor and hypnotherapist. She has a blog at www.thinkgrowlive.com where she helps people change their lives through changing their thinking patterns.

  • Joan, thank you for having the courage to bare your soul to the world. It’s quite an inspiration. It gets me thinking of the many “whys” in my life. Some I understand and I have turned into a positive, and some I do not understand and it effects me daily. When one why is conquered, another one is waiting to be solved.

  • Katie

    “We did not think it was traumatic, we were children and that was the ‘norm’ for us, however the fear went deep.” I burst into tears reading this one line. Just the flashback of seeing my siblings (there are 7 of us — I’m the oldest), I saw them in my mind, and I wanted to protect them. I pretty much gave up on myself. I would’ve killed if it had come to it.

    I come from the same kind of family. It WAS the norm, and it wasn’t until later (like, until my mid-30s) that I understood why I was in such pain, lived in fear, alone, single, promiscuous, constantly looking for love to ANYONE who would give it to me.

    I still struggle, but I subscribe to blogs like Bridgemaker (as well as a dozen others) to help and guide me. They are VERY helpful.

    Thank you for your story. I wasn’t expecting to relate to it almost 100%, and it helps…it helps so much.

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh

    Hi Joan,

    The depth of your story was amazing. We carry fear for many reasons, and going back to our childhood and seeing what mental habits that we have created can help us understand our choices. I have gone through points in my life where I have wondered why. Going through the process of understanding myself better, even if it was painful at times, gave me the answers, so that my life could improve. Thanks for a great post!

    • Joan Harrison

      You are so right Cathy, understanding why can be empowering. Thanks for commenting, really appreciate your input.