The Paths of Curiosity

Prompted by William’s comment on my blog Exploration is the First Step to (Self) Discovery, I felt drawn to explore curiosity a bit further.

Defined as;

  • Desire to know or learn – inquisitiveness.
  • Desire to know about people or things that do not concern us – nosiness.
  • An object that arouses interest, as by being novel or extraordinary.
  • A strange or odd aspect.

I am aware that in the past, my curiosity has veered more towards nosiness or inquisitiveness and not always with the best of intention. (I can admit to that now and don’t feel proud of being that way.)

I now know that my curiosity was deeply (hidden) motivated by an intention to judge, fix or feel superior. On the surface I thought by being inquisitive, I was seeking to help others but now I see I was focused on others to –

  • Fix – I want to tell you what you should do.
  • Judge – I don’t agree with you or your choices or actions; you are wrong or broken.
  • Feel superior – I’m OK and you are not. I have the answers.

I also realise that all of this uninformed, unintentional and unconscious way of being was simply to avoid dealing with my own brokenness and insecurities.

I now see I was externally focused because I was…

  • Too scared to look at myself
  • Ignorant to what I was doing and the impact it might be having on others or myself
  • Trying to fix others because “I needed fixing”

In fact I recall a conversation with a friend who reacted badly when I was in one of my “trying to help” modes (for that read critical, judgemental and self righteous). He said “You should fix yourself before trying to fix other people”

OUCH – but true.

As I focus more on being internally v externally curious, I’m actually learning more and I feel a small, slow shift to being more compassionate and understanding v being/feeling judgemental and superior (2 qualities I’m also not proud of and even though I wasn’t consciously being that way nevertheless I know I was – ignorance is no excuse.)

  • I’m curious to explore what drives my thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • I’m curious to really understand the drivers, feelings and actions of others.
  • I’m curious to discover what new and different ways of thinking and being could reveal for me.I’m curious to reveal my true motivation for this curiosity!

And at the same time, I don’t want any new ways of being to be masks or plasters for out of date identities or wounds uncovered through all this curiosity – that just means I’m letting my ego take control – again.

  • I’m curious why I still feel self doubt, fear of the new and stuckness more than I feel confidence, openness and flow.
  • I’m curious why my actions are still mainly driven my old fear based patterns.
  • I’m curious why I’m not living into my values ALL the time even though not doing so is making me feel frustrated.
  • I’m curious to see if by taking one and one step further (see what I did thereJ) I might act with courage v fear.
Photo by Joshua K Jackson

According to the British library there are things called cabinets of curiosities; also called wonder rooms. These were collections of extraordinary objects whose purpose was to categorise and tell stories about wonders and oddities of the natural world

  • What cabinets of curiosities or wonder rooms are lurking within you?
  • What stories do they tell?
  • What could you be curious about?
  • What “strange or odd aspects” of you and your life can you be “nosy” about?
  • Where might you be curious with the hidden intention to judge, fix or feel superior to others?

I’m curious to see who else might feel called to be curious and willing to share their discoveries.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *