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Getting to Neutrality Beyond Assumptions

Assumptions are commonplace in the mind of those that do not seek to question their personal experiences or information that is given to them by others. At times, #assumptions are the easy path to #thinking less and at other times, they spark #fixations of feeling and discomfort. Assumptions are part of the #illusions one may perceive about others and the world, which feed the #stories we tell ourselves about a situation or person. Assumptions are inevitable. They offer us a sense of consistency in our #expectations in order to feel less of a burden in “not knowing.” They offer us a sense of empowerment in what we think we know about ourselves and/or others. Assumptions and #biases often potentiate one another and offer a measure of internal substantiation for our #beliefs. The path to #understanding oneself, others, and situational experiences requires us to #AskQuestions and then, be receptive and contemplative of the answers that arise. Deeper understandings and accuracy of perceived #truths can only be reached when an individual moves beyond their biases and assumptions to a state of #honest #curiosity and #neutrality.

The experiences an individual has in life build the belief structures from any level of understanding a person is willing and capable of offering to those experiences. Some say, “Hindsight is 20-20”, but this cliché does not apply only because one has come to a conclusion they feel was missed in the moment. “20-20 vision” requires accuracy of perception about those factual events that tend to become a simplified memory or conglomeration of many things we tell ourselves about the experience or person we shared it with. How much of what we believe is 20-20 can obscure deeper understandings and the inaccuracy of perception if it is led by the unacknowledged biases or assumptions one carried before the situation transpired or the defensive #CopingMechanisms an individual uses when #conflicts occur. The mind is easily filled with thoughts that are nurtured by one’s #feelings. If questions and #objectivity for #logic and #reasoning are not a consistent part of understanding the origin and #accuracy of one’s emotions, #assumptions and one-sidedness will prevail.

It is true that we begin our understanding of anything from the focus and reference point of self, but we cannot disregard the co-creation of an experience when it involves more than just us. We must admit to ourselves there are always the known and #unknown attributes to the multi-dimensionality of #HumanExperience. Therefore, the perceptions and perspective of the others involved must be taken into account when weighing the conclusions for a conflict or #misunderstanding. When assumptions and biases reign without consideration for how others involved perceive themselves or what happened in the play out of events, direct #shame and #blame tactics, #PassiveAggression, #rejection through #disregard, and #defamation of character through one-sided story-telling and #gossip are common. All these responses to conflict exemplify #SelfAbsorption in personal assumptions and biases. How do you handle disagreements when conflict occurs? Do you contemplate questions with neutral #receptivity to deepen your understanding of the others involved? When what we perceive is always referenced from oneself, it is easy to take things personally and make an experience all about us. Assumptions can feed the experience of personal offense like wildfire, even when there is not actual evidence for it. The balance of understanding what is #personal and #impersonal can be revealed by choosing neutral observation. This deepens one’s understanding beyond assumptions. Do you question the source and accuracy of your #emotions based in the factual context of an event? If you request advice from others for ongoing conflict, do you attempt to accurately represent both sides of the story?

An individual must care about the #integrity of their own feelings, thoughts, and conclusions to acknowledge the #contextual facts of a situation that may be agreed upon but responded to differently by others involved. When integrity and #transparency for all sides of a situation are valued, objectivity and receptivity to others initiates #curiosity and #ThoughtfulQuestions that strengthen opportunities to reach a more wholistic truth for each individual. Achieving #ConflictResolution when a situation involves more than oneself means all individuals have the opportunity to seek closure through a sense of #SharedPower in #responsibility for the outcome, including differences of #perception that end in division. The highest goal of conflict resolution is harmony and healing through progressive understanding of self and other. This is a hard goal to reach if assumptions and biases from previous wounds and defense mechanisms, built through past experience, control one’s responses. In any given moment, an individual can only be as truthful with others as they are with themselves. They can only share what they know of themselves based on the introspection they have cultivated in their life experiences, #patterns of belief, and capacity for #intention.

When navigating #relationships and personal experience of the world, it is essential to understand that #assumptions and #expectations create contractual #agreements. These #contracts may be overtly stated or covertly operating from inherent #wounds or #ideals an individual carries in the construct of their psyche. Overt contracts are direct, honest, and clearly spoken intentions, beliefs, or expectations. Covert contracts may be witnessed in duplicitous behaviors, emotional reactivity without explanation, and feeling #blindsided by expectations of self or from others through various forms of social punishment. How does it feel when someone holds you responsible for something you didn’t know was expected of you? Do you #communicate your needs and wants with requests before #shaming and #blaming others?

Learning to ask questions is how one gets beyond assumptions to #neutrality. Refining one’s #understanding of the multi-dimensional #HumanExperience is the practice of #mindful #SelfAwareness. When assumptions become #judgments about others, it is important to ask oneself if those judgments are in service to a pre-existing internal #bias and vindicate a story that we often tell ourselves about how other people are or how we feel about ourselves in similar experiences. If so, we may have discovered a #BlindSpot that causes #distortion in our #perceptions of contextual reality. Blind-spots are biases or assumptions that operate covertly in the mind and tend to cause #recurrent #themes in life experiences that feel unresolved. Following the thread of thoughts and emotions that perpetuate similar #stories in one’s life narrative leads an individual back to the source of biases and assumptions casting a blind-spot. This source is often found in climactic life experiences and childhood conditioning that ripple out and return, again and again, for adherence and mimicry or for healing into a new path of belief, emotional response, and the stories we define ourselves by. When we cultivate new skills for communication, perceiving self, and a stronger #CoCreation in our personal narrative, we harness the integrity to honor others in their own process without needing to intimidate or dictate them with assumptions and biases that may not apply to them or the situation.

#Choosing neutrality is the most #honest approach to resolving a #conflict when resolution is desired with others. The #emotions one carries about the conflict are honest as well, but they are ours to sort out and interpret in order to #clarify the accuracy and basis of our response. When #storytelling begins to spin in the mind without the involvement of #questions that can only be answered by others, it is helpful to refrain from misleading #assumptions that may instigate more distortion and conflict. Surrendering to the #unknowns and finding #neutrality for #receptivity brings the relief one is seeking through the mental antics of pre-concluding. Neutrality is its own state of interim conclusion before more is revealed and externally substantiated. Pre-conceived notions are an important part of how the mind formulates and catalogues understanding in any experience. They are a tool to ready an individual for resolving misunderstanding and/or requesting needs or wants that are coming up to be met.

When these notions lead to #presumption and are used to target others directly or indirectly without evidence or input from various perspectives, assumptions are instilled more deeply into #belief. Once instilled as belief, assumptions are more resistant to modification and the process of #refining accuracy though curious #contemplation when new information arrives. Assumptions activate #resistance on all sides most often, due to the emotional #distortion they create when they are inaccurate, which defaults into reduced interest or longer delays for resolution. Assumptions challenged about oneself or assumptions directed at us by another incite grappling with the entangled origins of those accurate or inaccurate beliefs. This is why neutrality and learning to ask questions with honest curiosity and request for transparency is a healthier approach to resolving concerns within oneself and concerns about others.

Trust in the accuracy and transparency of the information one is given or perceives within self has a key role in the practice of #mindfulness, understanding experiences, and choices one makes on behalf of the knowns and unknowns. Trust is what builds an individual’s capacity to navigate the many circumstances that arise in the journey of life. Although, assumptions and expectations may or may not evolve from an individual’s trust in a particular belief. Neutrality requires #trust as well. Trust that the #answers will come, that more will be revealed. Not all beliefs are set in stone and assumptions do not automatically apply because an experience appears or feels emotionally similar to another in our initial perceptions of it. Internal and external substantiation fortifies trust when we are willing to let it be revealed to us, instead of #dictating what we expect to become known. The adage on “self-fulfilling prophecy” carries #wisdom where the #fixation on our assumptions takes over. Then, the #folly of #illusion perpetuates one’s life story because we are more focused on being right than being accurate and on dictating instead of co-creating. Neutrality is the way back to a #CuriousMind, a fresh slate for the framework of trust to be rebuilt and persevere beyond pride’s need to control. This path enables profound new discovery to #enlighten a darkened soul.

Be willing to identify and question assumptions as they arise about self, others, and situational experience. Seek out the unknowns to formulate questions and inspire deeper understanding. Let the well of your emotions show you the source of their activation and the still-point required to allow healing solutions.

Excerpts from the Writings of Julie Hightman


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