There is No Good or Bad
(I am feeling a bit philosophical today…) I recently heard this quote and I was struck by how this simple statement seems to sum up so much of what we all struggle with. The stories we tell ourselves, the perspective we take, the interpretation we choose based on history, tone, circumstance, the list goes on. It is so hard to wade through the chatter and see each interaction or person as they are without judgment or layering on our own history. It is the “thinking” part that drives the change, fosters the relationships, or creates divisiveness and regret. One might say it is all a choice, interpretation of events and the subsequent result is mostly in your hands. No matter how positive you are, we all have moments or interactions that are difficult. I have to wonder how much of that event is our own interpretation vs. the real event itself. We are emotional beings, so every decision or choice of language is veiled in emotion. So how do we get out from under that and see events or people as they really are? Andy Stanley’s most recent book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets talks about the tension that needs your attention. This is brilliant. If you pause for a minute and take stock of your body you will feel the tension that the situation or person brings. It is that quiet whisper that is the start. Many times we move right past the feeling and into action. We don’t take the time to disconnect the event with the feeling and ask if they really are related. Good decisions (or interactions) are made when we pause to recognize and connect with the tension or emotion. I agree, there is no good or bad, it is what we choose to believe and think that makes it so… Shakespeare, you were on to something!
My Challenge to You:
Can you think of an event/person in which you feel tension? Can you think of another person who has had the same interaction but feels very differently about it? Why the difference?
Now, take the same event/person and try to see it from the other perspective. Tap into curiosity, ask yourself, what lens do they see through that changes the scenario so dramatically?
Tension can be subtle but it is definitely a clue that more attention is needed. What is not “sitting right” with you, or you shy away from without obvious cause? This is tension. Ask yourself, what am I really concerned about? Is it fear or anger?
It is this introspection and reflection which will bring you closer to your truth. Your actions do not necessarily change but you will be entering into the conversation with a clear head and a solid understanding of what you are bringing to the table and how that may skew your perspective.