By: Bryan Nixon, MA, LPC
Where there is curiosity there is room for possibility. Where there is room for possibility there is room for hope and change.
What are the places in your life that you feel most stuck or hopeless? I would bet that they are the same places that you know the best. In other words you are most stuck in what you are most familiar with. It could be a job, a relationship, an addiction, or even just your way of being in and making sense of your world. Familiarity breeds comfort…even in misery. How many people do you know who seem to hate their life, but do absolutely nothing to change it? It is easy for us to become comfortably miserable because comfort breeds a false sense of safety. This false sense of safety is cancerous in relation to hope and desire because it’s primary ingredients are a mixture of complacency and a fear of the unknown.
We largely define what is possible in our lives based on what has happened in the past. We often lack curiosity because we have a sense that we already know what to expect, from ourselves, from others, from the world around us. Unfortunately this knowing often becomes a foregone conclusion which vastly limits what we allow to be possible. We miss so much because of how much we know.
Psychoanalyst Stephen Mitchell writes that, “Knowledge in our day is considered pluralistic, not singular; contextual, not absolute; constructed, not uncovered; changing and dynamic, not static and eternal.”
This is different than saying we can’t know anything. What this way of being seems to be asking is will you hold on to what you know loosely and with a sense of wonder? Will you approach what you know with a spirit that first says, “There is a real possibility that I am wrong.” Will you take the risk of allowing curiosity and possibility into the places you know so well?