This lesson from A Course In Miracles was tougher for me because I try to understand everything, even when I don’t understand it. Especially when I don’t understand it! It’s my inquisitive nature.
But this lesson is necessary to tear down the walls of what we think we know.
I know nothing.
We view everything through our own lenses … with rose coloured glasses or through the dense fog of gloom and doom. Have you ever misinterpreted a text? Remember when your teacher told you to completely missed the point of Macbeth? Or you sang the wrong lyrics to a song? Or misread someone’s signals? It’s that easy to be wrong.
Some subjects conveniently have right and wrong answers.
The nearest galaxy to ours is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2.537 million light years away.
Computers use binary code … 0 or 1. On or off. Yes or no.
A car is precisely engineered.
Yet, I cannot measure the volume of my love. We can see the pattern of love on the brain in neuroimaging scans. But what happens when I am not thinking of my boyfriend? Do I still love him? Do I not love my son when I am angry with him? Some things are intrinsically unmeasurable.
Even I – a person who prides herself on my ability to read body language and between the lines – has had some stellar muck-ups. Like the time I offered to help a colleague with a project. He was a new parent and I suspected he was overwhelmed.
He read my offer as there being a problem with his work. I misread his mood as being overwhelmed … he was, but not by work. His infant son was critically ill and the project was the only diversion he could sink his teeth into. Neither of us was right.
Another time, I stressed over a meeting all weekend. The head of HR had booked a Monday meeting with me … and I was terrified. Rather than ask her or my manager what it’s about, I chose to read every wrong into it that I could find. I suffered severe anxiety all weekend wondering what I had done to earn a meeting with the HR head honcho.
Only to find out on Monday morning that she had booked the wrong Lisa! I laughed hysterically … probably due to the sheer nervous energy. And told her HR counterpart for our division the story. She said “Lisa, why would you worry so much? You have nothing to worry about.”
There is a very big gap between how we see ourselves and how others perceive us. If we can’t communicate from inside our own head, how do we expect to effectively communicate at all? My “I’m really hurt” and my “fuck you and the horse you rode in on” look the same, according to my family.
As I walked my two dogs Annie and Carly on this lovely Sunday evening in August, I was struck by the world I do not understand. Do I really know how my dogs feel about their collars and leashes? Do I really understand how and why that flower grows so tall and beautiful? I don’t know any of the people on the streets next to mine, except for a few kindred dog owners. I only know them by their dog’s name … “Oh look! There is Max’s mom!”
Everything I thought was real … isn’t. Or is it?
I got to look at my world again through the fresh eyes of a child. To jump in a puddle … to pick up a rock … to savour summer strawberries. I don’t understand what any of them mean, but I am going along for the ride.
Don’t try to understand,
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