90-Day A Better Me Series
Part II: A Journey of Perspective
What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation
Day 44: Seeing Other’s Perspectives of Truth in the World
“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
I used to get bent out of shape when I felt like I HAD to be right and that my way was the right and/or only way to feel, think, believe and/or do something. If I HAVE to be right, I’m missing out on other perspectives of truth. I didn’t understand that it wasn’t weak to listen to someone else’s side of things. Just because I’m open to hear and understand others doesn’t mean I have to take on their perspective of truth as my own. Being open to see other’s perspectives of truth helps me not only understand mine, but understand theirs. When I’m open, I’m not attacking someone else for thinking differently than I do. I open myself up to see the individual beyond where her/his and my beliefs are holding us. I can see choices in thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, and reactions.
If we focus our energy in seeing other’s perspectives of truth in the world, we aren’t going to act defensively out of fear. We come to the interaction with more open energy. We go into conversations with an openness to see love and fear. If we are willing to look into what a person’s perspectives of truth are being led by, it can help us communicate with our loving light intact, so that it doesn’t get swayed by the other person’s energy. If we keep our light shining even in the face of someone else’s darkness, we can open up conversations of understanding. We can listen to their fears and see if there is a way to lessen them.
If a person is attacking us because her/his perspectives of truth are led by fear and we react to their fear with our fear, we have a war. Both parties stop listening and insist on being right. The raging inner teenagers take over, and the fight to be right pursues.
What if instead of being defensive we thought: This person is sharing their perspective of truth that they have created. I can see that they are angry and that they are not interpreting the situation the same way I am. I need to find out more about where this perspective is coming from in hopes we can find a solution that will work for both of us.
How do you feel after reading that thought process? If you think of exchanges you’ve had with a friend, colleague, partner, or family member when you didn’t agree with each other, do you think this thought process would help you from staying out of your own darkness (fear)? Do you think it would help you to remain open to hear their side of the story without taking it personally, even if she/he is pointing the finger at you? This process definitely works for me! That doesn’t mean I always remember to use it when my fears are triggered. I do however go back after my fears have calmed down. I apologize for my actions if I reacted out of fear or anger, and then I calmly discuss the situation. I can be clear on how I feel without pointing fingers and blaming her/him. I take responsibility for any dark energy I brought into the exchange. It is their choice if they want to take responsibility for theirs. I have no control over what someone else does.
Once we can begin to do this, we can extend the exercise out to our views of others. I find social media a great place to exercise seeing other’s perspectives of truths. I can get an idea if their perspectives are coming from fear or love based on what they post. I can see where their perspectives are conflicted in how they want to be living and how they are choosing to live. Seeing people a little clearer helps me to communicate with them in the most loving way possible. It helps me to guide my questions and to see if their perspectives of truth trigger my darkness (fear). I don’t have to engage in any situation that I know is being fueled by fear.
If people are so engaged in their fear that they are spreading hate on social media, I choose to send them light in a prayer. If someone engages me directly, I respond to them in the most loving way possible so that I’m not engaging my own darkness. I find when I approach people with love, they are more open to put their defenses down and start a conversation with me to gain understanding. Most times I find that their perspective of truth had them reacting to something I posted because they weren’t seeing the message the same way I was when I posted it. Most times I can understand their perspective and see how viewing it the way they did caused them to be triggered. I simply explain how I viewed it and most times a person can feel that I’m coming from a loving place, so they stay open to hear my view too. Now, we both gain understanding that not all people will view even what some may see as positive messages the same way.
I’m so grateful to have reached the place where I can have these kinds of exchanges. I have to laugh thinking back to my reaction when I heard the sentiment, “You complete me.” Now, when I was a hopeless romantic with no self-worth, I longed to hear someone say this to me. I wanted to be that one person that “made” someone feel like they would die without me there loving them. Back then my perspective of truth was you need someone else to love you romantically to be complete (FEAR).
Then after I started studying codependency and realizing how sick I had become by engaging in this belief system, I went the polar opposite and would be enraged when I heard the sentiment or read it in cards. I would flip out trying to find a card for someone and all I could see was codependent statements everywhere. I would have to spew my anger to anyone who would listen (FEAR).
After some time and growth, I realized that enraged perspective of truth wasn’t serving me either. I didn’t want to be angry at the world who didn’t see things my way. I came to the understanding that my perspective of truth about being responsible for my own feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions was the key. I had a choice on the energy I put out towards myself and others. When people disagree with me, when I’m centered, I respond with loving respect and let them know that my perspectives work for me to live the life I want to be living. If her/his perspectives work for them and they are happy, I’m not going to put my dark energy into the situation. I open myself to understand how their perspectives of truth are working for them. If there circumstances change and they realize that their perspectives of truth no longer serve them, they are free to change them. That is their journey.
It is not my job to force people to see things the way I do. I want to give people the opportunity to see their best selves, how that looks to each individual is going to be different. It is healthy for us to be open to see other people’s perspectives without judging ourselves against them. We are more open to see humanity and its diversity as something to celebrate instead of condemn. I love learning about people, which is why I majored in Human Development and minored in Cultural Anthropology. That is part of my journey and why I’ve chosen the path I’m on now.
“Sometimes the only reason for us to be somewhere else is to see things from a different perspective.”
The quote above fits the perspective of truth that everything happens for a reason. I believe we are brought into situations to learn from them. Sometimes an event will show us how much we like and appreciate how we are living our lives. Sometimes another person’s experience will show us that our priorities are out of whack. Other times we are shown how our perspectives are hurting us. When we trust our journey, we can appreciate the opportunity to see other’s perspectives of truth in the world.
Some may wonder why sometimes I choose to pick very personal topics when it comes to seeing perspectives, like how we see our own social media circles, instead of focusing on the bigger issues in the world. I talked about the definition of insanity earlier on in the series as the way we do things the same way over and over expecting different results. I’ve seen people take the quest to try to change the world so many times and get worn down, depleted, and defeated time and time again. I’ve watched people give themselves away (Day 28) and feel like nothing when they see very little shifts. The one pattern I notice the most is people trying to fix what’s outside to avoid what is going on inside of them. They try to fix things in the world out of fear. Since the beginning of the history of storytelling there stories about how loving actions led us to salvation, yet people keep choosing the path of fear and expecting love at the end. One of my deepest perspectives of truth is we have to see the light in ourselves before we can see and appreciate the light in others. We have to understand and embrace our own darkness before we can understand and appreciate the need for someone else’s. I believe our power to change the world starts within us. We have to see ourselves clearly to trust our path. When we give from a loving place, we are apart of spreading light into the world. Each of our paths will look very different, but no path is less important than another.
Sometimes we are faced with extreme forces of darkness (FEAR), leaders who spread darkness, individuals who choose to follow darkness, catastrophic events that put people face to face in their darkness, and illnesses that take us deep into our darkness. Each of these is important to our transformational journey. When faced with other’s darkness where do we go with ours? When faced with our own darkness how do we treat ourselves and others? What happens in the world when events touch us on a global level? After any major traumatic event you can find an outpouring of compassion and empathy. You can see story after story of heroes doing things that inspire the best in humanity. You can also see individuals pushing us to feed our fears. Where is your energy? That is the only energy that matters when these things are happening because it is the only energy you can control. Are you going to contribute light or more darkness? That starts on a personal level, which is why I wrote this series the way I have. We have to start with awareness of ourselves. Then we move into acceptance widening our perspectives. The final part is about taking action from a loving place for ourselves and others. Too many times we want to avoid our own darkness and instead work on fixing other’s problems, but the truth is until we understand our darkness by shining light on it, we will keep spreading darkness in the world.
Once we have come to a place where we see other’s perspectives of truth in the world as a natural process of gaining understanding—We find peace. We become apart of the change we WANT to see in the world.
Just for Today
Think of ways you can reframe your thinking when you don’t understand other’s perspectives of truth. What could you ask them? How could you respond to their perspectives from a loving place? What can you say to someone who doesn’t agree with your views without attacking theirs?
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2019
Today’s Letter from A Better Me “I’m Grateful for Other’s Perspectives of Truth” will be posted later today.