Here’s a question for you; Are you absolutely SURE that your assumptions about life are right?
Recently, a friend was talking to me about an idea that he was excited about. Suddenly a fly buzzed by. Unconsciously, I waved the fly away from my face and my friend stopped in mid-sentence and said, “What? … you don’t like it?” (referring to his proposal) In other words, he took my distracted gesture as a sign of disapproval.
This seemingly trivial example illustrates how easy it is to jump to a conclusion about reality that, in fact, may have nothing to do with it! Just that quick, we can be hijacked by our minds into believing a negative, unhappy story. In the time it took to wave a fly away, my precious friend had decided that I didn’t like what he was saying!
But it is not just my friend who engages in such hasty reactions, we all do it.
We see, hear, experience something and immediately decide what it means. We then project that meaning ( our story) onto the external situation and call it “what really happened.” (I find it humorous that we tend to equate such mental activity with being “smart!” :))
This interpreting and projecting of story describes well the nature of the human mind. We are “story makers.” And what’s amazing is that most of us spend our whole lives doing it (making up stories about reality and then acting as if they are true) and it never occurs to us that we’re doing it! It would be hilarious if it were not so painful.
Back to my friend & his quick reaction …
What if he had not asked me for immediate clarification? What if he had “assumed” my hand gesture was meant to wave him away, instead of the fly? What direction do you imagine our conversation might have taken then?
But because he DID ask, he was able to “clear” his presumptions/story and proceed unimpeded by his mistaken “story.” We, too, must learn to stop and ask the question, “What??? Is what I tell myself I’m seeing what I’m really seeing?”
Again I ask, “Do you absolutely KNOW that your assumptions/”story” about your present situation is true?”
In the interest of peace it may be worth a closer investigation.