Saturday, September 10, 2011


     It's easy to project motivations onto others that have nothing to do with reality. Just because I think something does not make it a fact. I might think that someone is offended or jealous or angry because of some fear of mine that they might be, and concoct a whole storyline around my fear, and take on the guilt from it, and shame, and feeling like I need to apologize. And it's all in my head and nowhere else.
     The only way to know what's really going on with someone else is to ask. I believe relationships of all kinds suffer from our assumptions. We assume that others are hostile or weak or incapable or disinterested. We assume it's their lack or our fault. We assume they have bitterness towards us, justified anger, or that they are somehow un-redeemable and that they deserve resentment from us.
     And none of it is reality except in the space between our ears. We manufacture blame and cruelty, even adoration. What if we stopped? What if we stopped making assumptions about others and asked them instead how they feel, what they think, what's their motivation? And then listened to the answer without judgement or assumption. What is it about us that thinks we know the real truth, in spite of what we are being told?
     I want to stop making assumptions, especially in a negative direction. If someone's behavior seems curious to me, I will ask about it. And in the meantime, I will not put my interpretation on the situation. I will let it be what it is, and not pretend I know what's what, until I actually do.

I resist the desire to make assumptions about anyone or anything until I have the right information from the legitimate source. I do not assume that I know what motivates others, and I do not take on guilt or bitterness based on my speculations.