Lately it seems that I’ve been hearing a LOT of people in my life ask “why” questions. “Why do I have panic attacks?” “Why do they happen?” “Why don’t the meds work?” and even in non-Panic/Anxiety realms of my life I hear “Why don’t I have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” “Why didn’t I get that job?” “Why did that have to happen?”

I’m sympathetic to the problems of others. Compassionate even. I truly do care about the suffering of my fellow human beings, and I hope that my prayers and thoughts — and even my listening — will help them find some relief.

But lately I say – “Why ask why?” And what I mean is, in all my recovery, spiritual learning and best mindful living the ‘why’ questions just seem to lead me further into insanity and fear. Who could possibly answer my why question? Another human being? God? And as I’ve sought peace in my life, rather than a particular physical or material answer I’ve learned that there are far more valuable questions I can ask.

Such as: “How can I help?” or “What can I do now?” or even “Am I okay right this minute?” The longer I work on formulating a helpful question, the more I am beginning to see how VERY helpful it is. Maybe not for the person who wants to know why. But it seems to make all the difference for me.

My panic attacks are virtually gone. My anxiety level rarely gets above a 4 on a 10 point scale. I’m aware when things are getting dicey, and I ask “What can I do to help myself?” and I answer with one of the many tools at my disposal. I have questions that lead me back to healing processes. Experiences and choices that really work for me.

It is not out of indifference or lack of caring that I say “why ask why?” but out of a great hope that whoever is asking that question, may find a more helpful question … AND an answer.