We are all familiar with the saying “don’t assume because it makes an ass of you (u) and me”. While it may seem like an over-used cliché, I can’t help but reflect on the truth of this little quip. Haven’t we all gotten into trouble at one point or another for assuming things were one way when in fact that couldn’t have been further from the truth? It is no surprise that not assuming is one of the four agreements to finding peace and balanced outlined by Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements.
When I think about assumptions I have made in the past, I am amazed at how much conflict, heartache and drama I have created in my life! It’s crazy to think that our assumptions are really just thoughts that we have created about our reality. After all I’ve learned so far, it seems that assumptions are just making our lives even more complicated than they already are!
A Course in Miracles teaches that the reality we perceive is the just an illusion. Our perception of what is real is clouded by our egos, by our perceived separateness from everything around us. Instead of admitting that we do not understand or know the truth, we make assumptions about what the truth is. If you’re anything like me, your tendency is to assume the worst. I used to rationalize it, convincing myself that assuming the worst was the wisest way to manage my expectations. The way I figured it, if I assumed the worst and it happened, I wouldn’t be disappointed. What I didn’t understand was that I was creating my “reality” unconsciously!
It’s amazing the vicious cycle this kind of thinking can create. We assume the worst we receive the worst and then we use the fact that we got what we expected as proof that we are justified in making those assumptions. We consider ourselves “realists”, not “pessimists”, but really we’re just our own worst nightmare!
This kind of thinking isn’t realistic it’s actually quite sadistic! If you believe in the power of your thoughts (and even if you don’t) it begs the question – does assuming the worst serve you? Of course not! Most assumptions don’t serve us at all. We set ourselves up for disappointment and conflict when we choose to believe that our perceptions of any given situation is the truth.
In relationships, we tend to assume after a certain length of time that our partners know us. We believe that they know all our likes and dislikes, so any action or words said that hurt or offend us must have been done intentionally, but is that really the case? How many times have we been the offender, not having a clue how “an innocent joke” could lead to hurt feelings or harsh words?
At work, we worry that our co-worker is mad at us because he/she hasn’t been as social or friendly as they normally are, but why do we assume that it has anything to do with us? What if they’re having personal issues? We could “what if” all day, but the one thing we know for sure is that we don’t know.
Instead of creating realities in our minds that may or may not actually exist, why not focus on what you do know, your own truth. I find that as I spend more time meditating and becoming more self aware, my need/desire to make assumptions has decreased significantly. I feel that I am more intuitive and open to all of the possibilities that exist and am excited to watch how everything will unfold!
I have yet to reach the point in my life where I no longer make assumptions, I’m still working on the deprogramming. I am, however, more conscious of when I do assume and am often able to catch myself. After reading The Five Agreements (the follow-up The Four Agreements) I now understand how much more peaceful and balanced my life will be when I am at a place where assumptions no longer have a role in my life! ♥