Tell Me Why

By: Peggy Willms

(5 min read)

“Don’t eat that!”


“Because I said so!”

“But why?”

“It will make you sick.”


And the rhetoric continues day in and day out. Even if you have not raised a child, I suspect you have been exposed to such banter as this. Some of our first conversations are based on “the why.” I suppose being inquisitive is in the growth blueprint. God said, “Yeah, throw in this behavior as a fun twist.” Sorry, but it is damn straight annoying.

I was never an external “why” asking individual. I played out the “I wonder why” in my head, assessed the game plan, and most often followed the rules accordingly. Obey.

However. HOWEVER! I learned later in life to flip the “inquiring minds want to know” on its head. After years of continual buck-back from my children, relationships, employees, and clients, I learned to encourage it; demand it. I am now in the driver’s seat. I am the “Why” Queen. 

Digging deep for answers to the “why” is life-changing. It allows us the data we need to course correct or rewire our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Mom said, “Don’t touch the stove?” Jessie asks, “Why?” Mom emphatically states, “Because you will burn your hand.” Mother leaves the room, screams ensue. Mother returns. Jessie is burned. Mother screeches, “Why did you do that? I told you not to touch the stove!” Child states through babbling lips and snotty nose, “I don’t know.” The matter-of-fact mom blurts, “Bet you won’t do that again!”

The probability is high that Jessie won’t touch the burner again. Why, you ask, great question…because he gathered his own data, suffered his own consequence and will make future decisions based off his suffrage. He didn’t listen to mom’s words. He did what he wanted to; experimented. He is now armed with data to make his own choices.

The game is more serious as we age. Why do you party all night-every night? Why are you in your third toxic relationship? Why did you quit your job? Why do you keep eating a whole cake every day? Why won’t you speak your truth? Do any of these sound familiar?

Some experts say just move on; it doesn’t matter why you do something. Today is a new day. You know what is healthy and wise now. Just do it!

I may be the only one picketing, “Ask, why. It matters.” Unless that is, you are a huge fan of do-overs. One of my favorite quotes is Einstein’s definition of insanity…

To change something, or better yet to stop it, we have to know what in the hell makes us do it or what makes us not do it. Whether we are repeating illegal behaviors or ignoring phone calls daily, there is a reason. Nothing happens – just because it happens.

Let’s dig deep and see where I go with this one…

Jessie: “I want to lose weight!”

Me: “Why?”

Jessie: “I am sick of feeling tired.”

Me: “Why?”

Jessie: “I want to play with my grandson!”

Me: “How old is he?”

Jessie: “Ten.”

Me: “Why haven’t you gotten sick of being overweight before now?”

Jessie: “I don’t know!”

Me: “Yes you do. Why?”

Jessie: “I am sick of being on the side lines.”

Me: “Why?”

Jessie: “I am sad this will be his memory. Grandpa doing nothing.”

Me: “Why are you sad?”

Jessie: “Because I didn’t have family to support me.”

Me: “Why didn’t you try to get healthy before he turned 10?”

Jessie: “I thought I could do it on my own. I have always done everything on my own. I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t have support. I am scared. I will fail.”

Me: “Now we have some data.”

I not only press until we uncover feelings, but I press back to family history; family habits. “When growing up how active were you and your family? How nutritionally did you and your family eat? What was your support system? How was your self-image or confidence? How did you cope with feelings?”

Repetitive actions form human beings. Our actions form our lifestyle, our jobs, relationships, health, and more. We learn by watching and listening. Many behaviors or habits aren’t our fault. Oh, I know, push me back on that one. Send me an email. But think about it, we begin mimicking behaviors and verbiage at a very early age. And most often we drag it along without knowledge. Generation after generation.

Digging into why you do things, why you say things or feel things, will change your life. Be your own detective. With this information you can shape-shift your life. Understanding the root causes of who and what we are is pure magic. Many of us do not want to repeat things that do not work for us or make us feel poorly or sad.

It it difficult to ask yourself “why” a hundred times? Absolutely. We do not want to face the pain or trauma. I get it. However, when stepping outside the emotion of the situation, there is always a reason an action was taken. There is always an emotion that drives a healthy or unhealthy decision. This process gets easier the more you practice.

“Do you like Brussel sprouts?”



“I don’t know. Maybe the smell.”

“Have you ever eaten them?”



Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
The information provided is the opinion of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. diagnosis, or treatment. The author and the business, All Things Wellness, LLC, and its owner Peggy Willms, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this article or on this website. We assume no responsibility for tangible and intangible damages such physical harm caused by using a product, loss of profits or loss of data, and defamatory comments.