Monday, March 24, 2014

Make No Assumptions.

“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don't tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don't understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions.”
― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Assumptions are what get us in trouble when communicating with the people we care about. It is SO IMPORTANT that we ask direct questions and actually tell the truth to each other. Otherwise, we invent a million possible scenarios to fill in the details we don't know. We project our own insecurities and worries and biases onto other people's behavior and presume to know what they mean or meant by a thing they did or said. And sometimes we even act as if we are right about what was in the heart of the other person, without actually finding out. But if we don't go to the source and ask for clarity around what we don't understand, how can we know what was truly meant? So often, relationships get destroyed, or friendships damaged, by the passive act of allowing silence. By permitting assumptions to replace investigation and curiosity, we close ourselves off from the sort of true connection that is born of authentic communication. Much can be gained by mustering the courage to ask and listen and be able to hear the truth from the other instead of inventing our own explanation that suits us.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.