“When we stop being curious about our world and the people in it, we lose connection with our hearts.”
-Audrey Hardin, LPC
By Audrey Hardin, LPC
We’ve lost our curiosity.
In our pursuit of convenience, instant-gratification, and self-preservation, we’ve stopped asking questions. We see this show up in the way we learn, make decisions, entertain ourselves, and choose to date and vote.
I’ll be the first to admit that when my schedule is overloaded, the idea of figuring something out or discovering something new is last on my list –I just don’t have the margin for it. What I also notice, though, is when I stop being curious, I lose my connection to the world around me. I move from engaging to surviving…and that doesn’t feel great either.
Part of being curious is being filled with wonder and imagination. “I wonder what it would be like to hike this trail?” “Imagine if this system could be changed!” “I wonder what that person is really like… or why they responded like that?”
Children are naturally curious, mostly due to the fact that there is so much they don’t know. By the time they reach adulthood, many of their questions seem to have been answered. Or maybe they haven’t, but there’s a societal expectation to start living life instead of exploring it. But can’t we do both?
Many of us stop asking questions due to instances where we were shamed for asking. Maybe by a peer, a teacher, or a parent. Our own insecurities …our shame, keeps our world small. If we don’t know something, we are too afraid to ask so we pretend we do –or we quickly google the answer to save us from total embarrassment.
For others of us, our “microwave” culture has dumbed the adventure of life down to a 1-click buy button with free returns or swipe left until you swipe right mentality. Little risk, lots of options, and not enough reason to explore.
When we stop being curious about our world and the people in it, we lose connection with our hearts.
Curiosity stirs our affections for living life, for people, and for the Lord. When we have no affections -nothing to dream or hope for, we become numb and life feels futile.
The life and ministry of Jesus is a clear picture of this. He used questions and stories to engage the minds and heighten the curiosity of those around him, encouraging self-reflection and growth.
As Jesus said to Peter: “Do you love me?” To his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” and God to Adam and Eve after they sinned: “Where are you?” God cares much more about relationship with us and our heart’s condition than our behaviors.
In order for us to feel truly loved –by people, by God, even loving ourselves, we must be fully known. To be fully known, we must get curious! Who am I? Who is God? Who does God say that I am?
What holds us back from being curious? Possibly time and the demands of life… but deeper than that, I find it is our fear. Fear of what we will discover –“Maybe I really am a disappointment?” “Maybe I am settling?” “Maybe I’ve been climbing up this ladder, only to realize it’s leaning against the wrong wall. . .“
The catch? No matter what we discover, through our curiosity comes humility. Being reminded that there is so much to learn keeps us humble and growing. When we seek curiosity, we invite connection, love, and belonging. People are drawn to us as we are drawn to them.
Lastly, learning about ourselves, the world, and those around us will inevitably lead us to action –maybe not immediately but eventually. As we allow our findings to sink in, we can never “un-know” them and inevitably they will change us.
So Get Curious. Discover, grow, dream, and connect!
Focus on listening instead of talking.
Ask questions more, give advice less.
Seek a live expert instead of google.
Read a book instead of a blog.
Beer lover? Visit a brewery to understand how it’s made.
Don’t allow the fear of what you’ll discover keep you from seeking. For only when we seek, will we find what we innately desire …To know and be known. To love and be loved. —That is the great mystery.