The Good News! today is that I really am going to get back to the Truth Tools. My second favorite Tool (right behind Anchoring) is Questioning. It is surprising how many bad feelings and vexations you can rid yourself of by simply asking,
“Is that the truth and nothing but the truth?”
For example, let’s make up a scenario and say that you go to Back to School Night and your child’s teacher spends a lot of time with other parents but when you try to approach her she is distracted and doesn’t seem interested. So you begin to tell yourself a story about how the teacher plays favorites and how unfair it is that your child is not getting the attention the other students get, how rude and uncaring the teacher is, or that the teacher only pays attention to the kids with rich parents, etc. But by simply stepping back emotionally and asking “Is that true?” you often find yourself laughing.
If you aren’t laughing at how absurd your assumptions are then try Rewriting the story.
Think of other possibilities of why she may be distracted and hurrying you along.
Maybe she needs to get to the restroom after the long night.
Maybe it is late and she has someone waiting for her at home.
Maybe she is just plain worn out after a long day and her energy has quit on her.
And even if the first thoughts are true, what good does it do you to get all vexed about it. All you are doing is inflicting yourself with Unnecessary Pain and dropping yourself into the Pit of Illusion where it is difficult to hear the Spirit. If there really is a problem with the teacher, you want to be in the Realm of Truth where the Spirit can guide you as to how to deal with the problem. You don’t want to be so full of vexing emotions that you can’t hear the promptings of the Spirit.
Questioning works especially well on worry—when we are stressed that some awful things is going to happen. Asking ourselves if it is true that we are going to faint when we give that Sacrament Meeting talk we’ve been assigned to give, causes us to smile and realize that we are being overly dramatic. And the smile drives the vexation away.
Questioning is a powerful Truth Tool.