See What Is, Not What You Expect to See

Hello dear readers and happy Monday! I know I know, Mondays aren’t supposed to be happy days, but let’s imagine for a moment that they are. Let’s imagine that Mondays are the days when we get to start all over again. Let’s imagine all the bad things that happened last week don’t matter anymore and that we’ve been given a second chance to do it all right again. If that were the case wouldn’t you be a bit more excited about Mondays?

Yes, you would, so let’s make that dream a reality. Treat this Monday as your big chance to get out there and get shit done!

For me, this Monday has been a hectic one. I started the new route I told you about yesterday but I admit I was unprepared. I thought I started it next week. Luckily, it isn’t too hard, but I did have to rearrange my schedule which caused me a bit of anxiety. Last minute change makes me feel like everything around me is chaotic, and I freeze up. I’ve learned to breathe and push through it, and I remind myself that the worse case scenario is not nearly as bad as I imagine it to be.

I remind myself that life will go on and that everything will work out in the end.

That’s why I am talking to you. You are one of the rare people who can separate your observations from your preconception. You see what is, where most people see what they expect.

John Stienbeck, East of Eden

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this? Have you ever found yourself the focus of another person’s anger without even knowing what it was you did that was wrong? Have you ever tried to explain that you didn’t mean what it is that they thought you meant and found that they couldn’t hear you? Has it ever seemed like they are reacting to a different time and a different person?

They usually are, but try your best to be understanding. We all carry around a bit of baggage—some good, some bad—from our past, and we all unload that baggage, every day, onto all the people around us.

It’s happened to all of us before; you are interacting with someone, and they say something, the one thing that hurts you. Instantly you know they have done this on purpose. You know that they know that this was the one thing you did not want to hear right now. You know that because they said it, they do not care about you. You know that they are wanted to hurt you.

You yell at them. You tell them that they have not only hurt you, but they have hurt in all the ways everyone else has ever hurt you. You were right about them all. None of them care about you. None of them ever cared about you.

Except that you are wrong.

That person, they didn’t mean to hurt you. They didn’t know that your mother used to say that to you when she was mad. They didn’t know that your teachers used to say that to you when you couldn’t understand the lessons. They didn’t know that your dad used to yell that at your mom when they fought late at night. They didn’t know that it was something that hurt you. They didn’t know you had an open wound.

They didn’t know you had an open wound.

So often we see situations in the light of what has happened in the past. We expect the worst and we leave no room for the possibility that this time, it might be different. We see our parents, our siblings, our bullies, and our greatest pain in every person and situation we encounter. Often we cause the exact situation we wish to avoid simply by believing and behaving as if the situation is already occurring.

 

This week, take a few moments to practice seeing what is and not what you expect to see. Give yourself a moment to think, to breath, to be calm, before you react. Make sure what you think is happening is really happening. If the other person tells you they didn’t mean it, believe them. If they apologize, try your best to let it go.

Every day we live in a world between what is happening now and what has happened in the past. We live this why without ever thinking about why or what is best.

This week, try to move a bit more into the future and a little further from the past.

***

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Featured image via Unsplash

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

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