If you’re reading this, then we’ve made it to March. Last month, we talked about emotional responses and de-escalating ourselves. Techniques like the one we discussed in February, are a great way to manage emotional responses in the moment. Our lives are full of joys and traumas, success and failure. How we handle and incorporate the events in our lives, creates a very individualized perspective. We can grow attached to that perspective and confuse perspective with truth. When we stop being aware of our perspective, we see truth through our tinted lenses. It is good to have perspective. It is how our brain reminds us to not make the same mistakes. However, it can also work against us when we mistake it for truth. Being aware of both, our perspective and when someone else is providing their perspective, can be incredibly powerful. This month let’s talk about our perspective, other people’s perspectives, and ultimate truth.
Our perspective is created and shaped from the moment we are born. The conditions that we are raised, the parenting style of your parents, and every event that we experience all play into our perspective. That lens that we view everything through is trying to protect us. We may not even be aware of where those perspectives come from, and that’s ok. Forming this lens is completely natural and happens automatically. Recognizing when something is our view and having some compassion for our own past, and it is trying to protect me is a great first step. Knowing that you have a point of view that is shaped by your culture and your past, it becomes easier to recognize other people’s perspectives.
When someone else is sharing their point of view, do you become agitated and defensive? That’s our body and mind reacting, seeing through our lens to someone else’s perspective. We are judging their lens that has naturally formed in them. Our view and beliefs may feel under attack, so it’s important to see other people’s lens as it is. If we lower our own lens long enough to see someone else seeing through theirs, this could be a great time to ask without judgment more about their perspective so you can understand without assumptions. Both perspectives can be right and you may just understand more about where they are coming from.
There is a difference between my truth and ultimate truth. Assuming that we ever truly have and know ultimate truth, is probably our ego getting in the way of our own growth. When you have something that you feel is the truth, ask yourself “do I know that this is a fact one hundred percent of the time for everyone?” Very few things are certain to that extent in life, with the exception of our own mortality. We do not get to choose all of the events in our lives, however we can control how we respond and grow from them. We can also be open to changing our relationship with our emotions, our past or challenges when they happen. You do not need to see everything as sunshine and rainbows, to change how you relate to events.
This month, without judgment, criticism, or intent to change them, try asking someone that challenges you about their perspective. Let’s break bread, or in this case some flower, try to remain calm, listen and ask questions. You may need to remind yourself that you are safe and do not need to defend your perspective, simply listen and understand theirs. We can never just change our view through our lens, with a little compassion for how we formed our individual lens and when we are seeing through it, maybe we can expand our view to understand that others are seeing through their lens and are not what we assume.