I love the wisdom in The Course of Miracles. Some of it is above my understanding still but each year as I go through the daily messages, I understand at a new level.
One of my big learnings is Lesson #2 - I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me.
For me, it was a wake-up call to realize that others don’t see or understand like me. Growing up with my Dad, a Colonel in the Air Force and being Catholic, it was my Dad’s way, or the Church’s. I thought that was how everyone viewed the world. I thought everyone would be on time and do what they said they would.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend who lives in the country. She was talking about how her son found this snake in the garage and how good they are to have around to eat the other critters, like mice and such. I was freaking out. Snakes are yuk and scary to me.
Think about the different meaning people report to the police about an accident - many different versions of what has happened. And, if you have siblings, listen to them describe growing up in the same family with the same parents. It’s not the same.
Just like John Gray’s books Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. There are differences in the way men and women react, deal with and see the world.
Not bad or good. Just different.
Your meaning of a situation is based on your perspective of how you see the world. For instance, I recently listened to James Comey’s, A Higher Loyalty, Truths, Lies and Leadership. In the beginning, he discusses, how for the Mafia, the most important quality to have is loyalty, above all else. So that is how those people view the world. It doesn’t matter if they were lying or whatever, they were guided by being loyal to their people. Later in the book, Comey shares how he was bullied as a kid, and that wasn’t going to happen for anyone else, thus him becoming part of the FBI.
So, it’s important to understand where people are coming from, what’s driving their thoughts.
Things that happen to you in life impact the meaning you give to situations and people.
You are deciding from your perspective. Like if you are a person who loves cold weather, living in the North and snow. It’s not for me.
You are giving meaning to what you like, what’s important to you based mostly on your past - family, culture, church. Like eating beans or black-eyed peas. Can’t dance. Will buy electronics rather than pay your monthly bills.
You are deciphering someone else’s intention in a conversation whether that's from a disagreement you are having or listening to someone. Like when your husband doesn’t attend your daughter’s graduation - do you make it mean, he doesn’t love her or what? He felt he needed to work to provide for the family.
Your reality and meaning of the world and things around you are not the same as mine or others.
"Whatever you choose to believe,
will be the concept that runs your mind."
-- Joe Vitale
That’s why communication can be so hard and confusing.
And, why it is so important to understand you are giving meaning to a situation. To try to be more compassionate.
As Stephen Covey says, “Seek First To Understand.”
We each bring our “stuff” to the table when conversing, arguing or listening to others.
It is why it’s helpful to go through your beliefs, needs and concerns. To clear out thoughts, beliefs and habits that no longer serve you.
Like do you want to be right or be happy?
If you have a belief you always want to be right. Ask why is being right so important to you.
Is it your way of being valued?
Do you want people to see how smart you are?
Did you grow up feeling like if you didn’t have your way, you weren’t valued?
So for you, you will do whatever you need to prove yourself. Rather than someone who wants to be happy, will let it go, no need to argue, or be combative.
As Denis Waitley states, “Life is the movie you see through your own eyes. It makes little difference what’s happening out there. It’s how you take it that counts.”
Can you see how understanding that you are creating the meaning of a situation can be helpful for you to have a more loving and peaceful life?
You don’t have to react to people’s difference. You can just notice.
What if, we were all so healthy as to understand that everyone has their own point of view. It doesn’t make us right or wrong, it’s just different.
Life is easier, more joyful and fulfilling when you don’t have to attack others for their meaning of the life they are experiencing.
Take time this week to notice all the ways you are giving situations meaning that are no longer helpful for you. How do you know? Notice where your inner peace is disturbed. Start there.
If you need help processing the situations, I’d love to have a free discovery call with you. Sign up at dottiehager.com I look forward to helping you live a more peaceful, loving life.