Dare to be Curious
I originally titled my website dare to know in celebration of my journey to better trust my own reason. But, it’s more true that my growth has been about embracing lots of kinds of ‘darings’. In order for these darings to take center stage, I have to push back (hard) on my tendency to care about what others think.
I am often baffled by how much of my life has been ruled by caring about the opinions of others and the way it has stunted my growth.
So, what if I didn’t give a flyin freak about what others thought of me?
This is the question that has fueled my darings to be curious, to doubt, to be wrong, to embrace mystery, and to – finally – be my own person.
Curiosity is life-giving.
For me, everything begins with daring to be curious.
I am convinced that curiosity is one of the most vital characteristics we can have. When we can exchange the static, I-have-all-the-answers stance on life with a curiosity, the world opens up. What might we learn and what might be possible?
Curiosity truly makes us feel alive, keeping us in a state of amazement, exhilaration, and anticipation for what we might find next.
Curiosity gives us perspective.
When we let ourselves be exposed to other ideas it challenges our own. Curiosity and wonder also keep us in a posture of learning because it forces us to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers.
We work hard to carefully construct bubbles that keep us safe from doubt and fear. It pushes us to explore beyond ourselves and to pay attention to the big and the small, which can threaten our notions of who we are and what is important.
Curiosity pulls us towards people, ideas, and ways of doing things that we could never conceive when we stay inside our bubbles. When we let ourselves be exposed to other ideas it challenges our own. Often, it’s easier to ignore our curiosities than to see where they take us.
Curiosity and wonder also keep us in a posture of learning because it forces us to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers.
Our individual curiosity can also threaten those around us when they mistake genuine interest as a challenge to their decisions or to their bubbles.
Curiosity is the best guide.
The other amazing thing about curiosity is that it’s a natural guiding system. When we embrace the idea that we are created in wholeness and beauty, and we already possess what we need to thrive, we will begin to trust that our curiosities are there for a reason.
Author, Elizabeth Gilbert is a woman who has evolved in the public eye. She blew me away when I heard her speak about how curiosity provides clues the “scavenger hunt” that is our lives. So many times we are looking for that roaring passion when it’s the tiny small voice of curiosity that can provide solid arrows to point us to our next steps.
“Passion is a tower of flame, but curiosity is a tiny tap on the shoulder — a little whisper in the ear that says, ‘Hey, that’s kind of interesting…’ ” More here.
Unfortunately, those of us who spent lots of time inside a Christian bubble were trained to ignore those little whispers, because our hearts and minds were not to be trusted. Instead, we are experts at looking for external validation and direction that comes prepackaged by the Church in a one-size-fits-all model of personhood.
As I look back over the very curvy timeline of my life, I see that I instinctively used my curiosity as a navigation tool, though admittedly very timidly.
This is a muscle that is strengthened over time and I find as I get older I am doing it with much more vigor and purpose.