DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
The third of Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements is Don't make assumptions. (And not just because to assume makes an ass out of u and me. haha) According to Ruiz, making assumptions sets us up for suffering because when we assume we perceive the information we make up as truth and when that truth is challenged we defend it in order to defend ourselves without regard for what the truth really is. "We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing."
This is often the case with our personal relationships. We assume that we know who someone is. We assume that we know how they will react in a given situation even though we have not had the life experience that this person has had. (Yet we perceive everything through our own eyes and assume that others see things the way that we do.) And when that special person in our life does something or reacts in a way unexpected by us - we blame them for not living up to our expectations, our assumptions. This is where a great deal of pain is suffered between those who claim to love one another.
We also assume, often times in marriage, that our partners should know us so well that we shouldn't have to tell them our needs and desires. They should just know. Well, when they don't know we get angry. We assume that our partner doesn't know us as well as we thought. We assume that the problem lies within our spouse. We begin to resent him/her for not taking enough interest in us. But why should we assume that because someone loves us they know what it is to be us? We are all unique. We all bring our own agreements and personal histories into our relationships. No two are the same. Therefore, while we shouldn't assume that our spouse's agreements are the same as ours, we don't want them forcing their agreements and expectations on us. If you love someone, you must love them as they are - here and now. We cannot expect to change someone else. If you can't accept your partner for who they are then you don't love them. In the same respect, if they cannot accept you for who you are they do not love you. When we stop assuming things about others we open up the channels for clear communication - channels through which we can be impeccable with our words and not take personally the reactions we recieve.
Funny, how these things just keep circling back upon one another, huh?
We make assumptions because we are afraid to ask questions. We are even more afraid of the answers we will receive. But all of us have the right to ask any question and in turn we have the right to answer any question with the truth. Once we overcome the fear of asking questions things begin to clear up - we can see everything and everyone for who they really are because there are no more barriers, no more misconceptions, no more assumptions and guessing. This also applies when we ask the tough questions of ourselves. Don't' be afraid. That's where the good stuff is. If you have the courage to ask the questions, then also have the courage to answer yourself honestly. It will be one of the most freeing experiences you will ever have. To be honest with yourself, and with others, opens up the door to happiness and joy because there is no greater fear to overcome.
So if you have a question, or two or three, ask them! Be clear in your communications with others. And remember not to take the answers personally and remember that your answers to the questions of others are simply that - your answers. You bear no responsibility if the receiver chooses to take your opinion personally. So ask these questions of yourself and of those you care most about: What is it that you really want to do in this life? Are you happy? What would make you happy? What negative influence is it time to rid yourself of? Do you feel that you are living a life that is true and represenative of who you really are?
Meditate on just one of those questions for a while and see what you come up with....I'd share my own answers, but I'm still trying to sort them out.