Archive for March, 2018

For me, one of the biggest subjects in how we interact with each other these days, is about knowing the difference between our intuitions and our projections. We often judge things and people negatively when we are unconsciously reacting from a projection of ours from a painful past experience, and yet we can kid ourselves that we are sure we are ‘right’ and that person is ‘doing this’ or ‘behaving like that’ when they are quite innocent and our ‘certain truth’ is really us reacting to an old feeling inside ourselves that we are unaware of.

My partner told me yesterday about a clip she saw online where the speaker described a court case of a convicted murderer, and the jury were deciding whether he’d get prison or the death penalty. When they chose the death penalty it was on the grounds that his face was totally blank and he showed no remorse. But then it was discovered that in that man’s culture a blank expression WAS remorse. Oops.

I have noticed that when I feel hurt or triggered by someone’s behaviour, it is not always ‘the thing they did’ that hurts me but the ‘meaning’ or ‘interpretation’ of their actions and choices, that I have added, that hurts. I will think “that means they don’t love me” or “that means they don’t care about me or respect me”, or “they’re trying to get one over on me”. The person involved could have totally innocent intentions but because I am hurt or suspicious, my mind, in it’s usual misguided and self-protecting way, will come up with these extra versions and judgements which may or may not have anything to do with reality. I’m concerned that we have developed a curious kind of paranoia here where we knee-jerk expect the worst and give everyone the opposite of the benefit of the doubt.

Here’s an example: someone could be coming home for dinner and stay slightly later at work to make sure everything is cleared and done so that there will be absolutely no distraction once home to have a wonderful undisturbed evening with their partner. Upon arriving home a bit late, the partner who has been also looking forward to the evening and been cooking a beautiful meal, could easily interpret the late homecoming as disrespect and uncaring when it was really the exact opposite. That’s a slightly contrived and lumpy example but I have noticed that I am much more likely to judge someone’s actions towards me from the negative presumption when I am triggered or worried than to imagine the positive version and look through the lens of trust and positivity.

We’ve all been bitten in the past and have good reason to be careful. We also need to guard against genuinely uncaring or toxic people, but I feel we may have drifted into a kind of automatic, negatively assuming mode where we expect ill-will before we expect innocence and care towards us.

Let’s really notice, when we are so ‘sure’ that someone is being uncaring or selfish or sexist or sleazy or ignorant or avoidant….let’s be careful that our certainty that they are ‘being like that’ is really coming from a clearly felt sense in this moment and not from our reactivity to all the people and negative experiences from our past that we are lumping this person in with.

To do this we need to become much more intimate with our feelings and sensations and notice ourselves feeling them before the mind jumps in and gets busy making stuff up.

We have been trained to be externally fixated but it is our attention and intimacy with our INTERNAL state which will keep us on the authentic and un-enslaved path.


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