Assume: You Know What They Say About That
Assume: You know what they say about that. The common usage of that word has come to mean “making an ass out of you and me.” The more formal dictionary definition is “to suppose to be the case, without proof.”
We Think We Know
People make assumptions all of the time and even argue that they’re right when maybe they haven’t done any research or, if they have, haven’t checked back to see if any of the data or variables have changed.
How Assumptions Get Made
It’s common for people to decide how another person “is” based on how they were during a specific interaction, the way they once were, years ago, or their impression of the way they were from the overlay of their own skewed perspective.
Oddly, this whole post was prompted from an early morning walk in the garden. It’s still unseasonably chilly and while I have looked out of the window at the garden, I hadn’t gone up close to inspect each individual tree and plant.
Except for the riotous bloom of azaleas that literally happened overnight, I assumed that nothing was going on in the garden. Upon closer inspection however, I saw the hundreds of little balls on the blackberry bushes that will burst into juicy blackberries. There are tiny peaches, nectarines, apples and pears on these young trees. Because they didn’t bear fruit before, I assumed they weren’t ready yet. Thinking about how these things changed led me to thinking about how people change. They can bloom right before our eyes and we may not even see it.
People and Things Change
I’m reminded that people, things, and situations do change. As a therapist, I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t believe that. It’s important to examine a possible investment in believing that someone or something can’t change.
One of my children used to be frustrated with me because she said I was not spontaneous. (And, therefore, not as fun as she would have liked me to have been in the moment.) She was right. She is the eldest and I had two younger ones whose nap times, activities, etc. made it so that we couldn’t, on a whim, take off and go to the beach on a weekday when the thought arose for her. I would always note her desire and plan for it.
Recently, with a child of her own, she brought it up and said that she gets it. She isn’t as spontaneous as she used to be. It’s the nature of change. We get into trouble when we view people and things as stagnant.
Look for Evidence of Change
Catch others being wonderful. Look for evidence of new growth. Conversely, be conscious of behaviors that have changed dramatically from healthy to unhealthy in order to address something out of balance before it becomes severe.
For our midweek Enchanted Breath, close your eyes, shake off tension like a dog shaking off water, and settle into how you have changed, say in the past year or five years. Either congratulate yourself or make a plan to invite change into your life.
Be mindful and stay enchanted!
Enchanted Breaths are the “ahh, the haha, or the aha! of life.”