When my children were young I used to tell them that if they were going to make an assumption they should make one that would allow them to feel good. Assumptions are guess-work anyway. And it’s never what happens to us that affects us, good or bad, but what we tell ourselves about it. The other day when I was at the bank, I had a chance to take my own advice.
I saw a girl I knew in High School. I greeted her by name but was surprised by her response; a completely blank look on her face. She didn’t recognize me!
It’s been many years since High School but in all those years what typically surprised me was that everyone did recognize me. Why hadn’t she?
When I told my husband about it he offered a succinct, tongue-in-cheek explanation; “Alzheimer’s?”
I had a different thought that now, bolstered by his support, I voiced aloud. “I thought that she couldn’t place me as someone she knew in High School because I look so young.” Wow! It was good advice! I did feel better!
The worst thing I could have done was to have made an assumption that would have hurt me. It was an assumption, after all. I had no way of knowing why she didn’t recognize me. I had the power to interpret what had happened in any way I liked.
Byron Katie says all our problems stem from believing in our stories. Our happiness can spring from that too if we make the stories good ones.
For instance, whatever is happening in your life now can be viewed as a necessary step in getting to where you want to go. What would our lives be like if we embraced everything that happened with that attitude?
Do you make assumptions that make you feel good? Have you ever re-written a scene or your interpretation of it in order to feel good about it?
Photo credit: MSVG