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Archive for August 20th, 2011

This is a goddess sculpture made by my friend Ameyo Ameyot several years ago. This morning “I assumed” I would be able to click it into place and write my blog quickly before afternoon errands.  Not!  Somehow on my beginning draft, my images would not download.  I do not know why that was, but I will continue this evening now that I have an image there.

Picture this. I wish I had a camera this afternoon at Tom’s doctor appointment. On the way out of the office building, Tom – with a cane – was holding the door for a more elderly woman who was gingerly moving her specialized walker along into the entryway, followed by a man wheeling his wheelchair, with a body strap held by the woman behind him. These people were followed by a handsome Fed-Ex guy, in summer shorts of course, who lined up behind them and was unable to “sprint” into the doctor’s office.

When he came back out and we were getting into our car, I told him that he was in the line of people who had “used up” their Express days. He laughed.

Which brings me to the Third Agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz: Don’t make assumptions.”  I was thinking about, how when we are young and crazy, we make all kinds of assumptions about our agile, strong and willing bodiesto move us along, it seems, at the speed of a bullet. We do assume it is there for us. It is quite likely we assume that now is forever. We don’t give it a thought what added several decades  of  “wear and tear” on the body will do. We assume the aches and pains and general slowing down wait over the horizen for others when they reach a ripe, older age. In fact, we assume actually that we are not old, maybe just old-er.

I catch myself in conversation all the time saying, “We were with this older couple the other day”…. and then I realize they were either a little younger or just a little older than myself.

I can remember assuming more when I was younger, than I do now. I assumed that I could exert myself for longer than my body really wanted to go without paying many unpleasant results. Not so today. Years ago, I could skip a few days of exercise without feeling like the next day I was starting all over again. Now I keep a steady pace in my exercise routines to stay energized. And today, I don’t assume my body gets its proper building blocks without a rather regular diet of wholesome nutrients on a regular basis.

Life’s later wisdom seems to grant a general acceptance of not making assumptions because, frankly — I’ve been wrong too many times when I did. In making assumptions about a situation, a person, or a problem, I’ve been right sometimes, I’ve been wrong others; I’ve been betrayed and I’ve been rewarded.

Ruiz says that all the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally (The Second Agreement, not to take things personally). The whole world of control between humans is about making assumptions and taking things personally.

It then comes down to being right or wrong. That becomes what is most important to us. We are afraid to ask for clarification, so we make assumptions and we believe we are right about our assumptions. I’ve done that.

Then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong. That’s me again. It is always better, Ruiz says, to ask a question than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.

Assumptions are often made so fast and unconsciously because we have agreed to not ask questions. The biggest assumption that human beings make is that everyone sees life the way we, ourselves, do. Even though our mind knows this cannot possibly be true, we struggle to make it so. We assume others think the way we think and  feel the way we feel.

He goes to the heart of the matter when he says that is the exact reason we have a fear of being ourselves around others…because we think everyone else will judge us with the same tough standards we use to judge ourselves, so even before others have a chance to reject us, we have already rejected ourselves.

The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Work to make your communication very clear with another, without having to change yourself for the other, or worse yet attempting to change the other, as in “winning them over”.

Find your voice to ask for what you want. Listen inwardly to your own voice. When you hear an answer, it will sound like truth to you.

He admits that just saying this sounds easy, but that it is difficult to do. It takes practice. It takes recognizing our habits, which ones serve us, which ones don’t. So I am willing to practice this like all the other practices I have going on in my life. It’s just one of the things I do.

Taking action over and over again on this principle forms a habit, strengthens my will  and establishes a solid foundation that tends to erase chaos in my life.  I know it to be only too true that many of my  assumptions create chaos, not solutions in my life.

Don Miguel says making this one agreement (to make no assumptions) will transform one’s life. What you need comes to you easily because Spirit moves through you freely.

“This is the mastery of intent, the mastery of the Spirit, the mastery of love, the mastery of gratitude, and the mastery of life — the path to personal freedom.”

You know what they say about getting a little taste of freedom!

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