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  • Traci Kanaan

Christmas Quandaries


I was at a Christmas party this past week, and one of my friends broke down and started crying. She is having a tough time this holiday season. She’s reached out to her children and they have not returned her calls. She asks herself, “Why don’t they call me?” “Why are they being this way?” “Why don’t they want me in their lives?” Maybe her kids are ungrateful and selfish brats, and maybe they’re perfectly justified in their actions because they view her as a horrible mother. Whatever the reasons are, she’s asking herself the wrong questions.

I had a client a few weeks ago who kept trying to analyze why her husband does what he does. “Why does he treat me so poorly?” “Why does he lie to me?” “Why do I stay with him? Maybe his actions are justified, maybe not. Whatever the reasons are, she too is asking herself the wrong questions.

I don’t know both sides of either of their situations. It is not my job to take sides. I do know one thing: both of these people are asking “Why” questions, and as a result, they are creating and perpetuating their own living Hells.

If you want to screw yourself up efficiently and effectively, “Why” questions are the superhighway to misery. “Why” questions can screw you up for a lifetime. When we ask ourselves “Why…” the answers magically appear. They are almost always shitty answers too. Unfortunately, “Why” these things are happening doesn’t matter. They ARE happening. They are causing unhappiness in both of these people. Even if they knew the REAL reasons “Why,” chances are they couldn’t use that information to change the other person’s behavior anyway. It just “IS.”

Of all the questions to ask yourself, “Why” questions are the worst. Your unconscious mind finds a way to answer ALL of them, and they are almost always horrible answers.

“Why don’t they call?” Because they were in an accident. Because they’re too busy for me. Because I was a horrible mother. Because they hate me.

“Why are they being this way?” Because their father turned them against me. Because I raised them to be this way. Because my daughter hates me. Because I can’t be trusted.

“Why does he/she lie to me?” Because I don’t deserve the truth. Because he/she doesn’t respect me.

“Why does this stuff always happen to me?” Because I came from a dysfunctional family. Because I’m ugly. Because no one wants me. Because I’m a loser.

One of the fastest ways to turn your life around, is to change the questions you ask yourself. Instead of asking “Why” questions, and start asking “What” questions.

“What can I do about…”

“What can I do about this situation?”

“What can I do about my looks?”

“What can I do about repairing the relationship with my family?”

“What can I do about making my Christmas the best ever?”

By simply changing the quality of the questions you ask yourself, you easily change the direction of your mind. When you ask yourself “What can I do about…?” your mind HAS to think differently and find a solution. If your mind is working on finding a solution to a “What” question, it can’t find a reason or justification for a “Why” question.

By changing the questions from “Why” to “What,” you begin to empower yourself and take back your life.

Take a few minutes to answer these questions.

“What can I do to make the relationship with my (family) better?”

“What can I do to make my holiday the best ever?”

“What can I do to make my 2022 the best ever?”

“What can I do to make my life the best ever?”

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