Friday, November 21, 2008

It's all about perception...

I receive these mailings which include a horoscope (which is often vague and could apply to absolutely anyone) from a place called The Daily OM. I like them because they are often thought provoking for me. For example, the following is one of the daily om's I received this morning.

November 21, 2008
Reversed Perceptions
Being Projected Upon
We all have issues, as well as undesirable qualities or traits that we don’t like about ourselves. Most of us realize that we are not perfect and that it is natural to have unpleasant thoughts, motivations, desires, or feelings. However, when a person does not acknowledge these, they may ascribe those characteristics to someone else, deeming other people instead as angry, jealous, or insecure. In psychological terms, such blaming and fault finding is called projection.

When we are the target of projections, it can be confusing and frustrating, not to mention maddening, particularly when we know that we are not the cause of another person’s distress. Even people who are well aware of their issues may find that sensitive subjects can bring up unexpected projections. They may feel insecure about a lack of funds and thus view a friend as extravagant. Or, if they really want to get in shape, they may preach the benefits of exercise to anyone and everyone.

While we can try to avoid people we know who engage in projecting their “stuff” onto others, we can’t always steer clear of such encounters. We can, however, deflect some projections through mindfulness and meditation. A useful visualization tool is to imagine wrapping ourselves in a protective light everyday. At other times, we may have to put up a protective shield when we feel a projection coming our way, reminding ourselves that someone else’s issues are not ours. Although it’s difficult not to react when we are the recipient of a projection, it is a good idea to try to remain calm and let the other person know if they are being unreasonable and disrespectful. We all know that it’s not fun to be dumped on. Likewise, we should be mindful that we don’t take our own frustrations out on others. When we take ownership of our thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings, we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.

This got me to thinking about myself (and others). So I decided to analyze one of my latest "perceptions" of someone that I had actually done in front of ya'll. It was my post on Wednesday when I wrote about Rose's Reasonings. I actually had the gall (although I did question myself about it a bit at the time) to say that I thought Rose was a bit "preachy".

I've been back and re-read some of Rose's entries. I'm beginning to question myself on the fact that I thought Rose was "preachy". Here's the thing, the Bible is written in a way that is a bit hard for me to understand at times. Rose seems to be very knowledgable about the bible and religion and all the terms/phrases people use to discuss it. A lot of the discussion seems to go flying right over my head. I've found that on some of the entries, if I go back and re-read it a few times, some of it begins to make sense to me. And to top it off...I actually agree with some of it and am thankful for the clearer understanding!

Then there is the fact that a wee bit of political discussion was there too. It's hard to keep politics off your blog when it is where you share you opinions, thoughts, and ideas with people. I know that I put a few of my own thoughts on things that were happening during the Presidential race in my entries. Not to say that people shouldn't share their views and opinions in their blog if that is what they want to do. I tried not to because I did not want to offend anyone.

So between the talk that I may not have understood completely and the differing views on politics I may have come to the conclussion of Rose being "preachy" when I was really just projecting my own lack of understanding and differing views.

Wow...can you imagine if we were all able to dissect our feelings and analyze where they were coming from before we opened our mouths? Is another person really attacking us, or is it just our own (mis-)perception and feelings of inadequacy that makes us feel that way? Or is it their own perceptions about us that makes them feel the way they do about us?

Now, throw in a set of third perceptions if your hearing something from someone that they are telling you about another person, or what that person said. Holy Crickets! Can you see where things could just blow up into a big fiasco over nothing at all? Mis-perceptions, Mis-understandings, and Mis-spoken words...could all turn into a huge ole mess. I know...I've seen it many times over the years.

I've even been thrown under the bus by people I've had discussions with on topics we've agreed on. Then when that person became upset with me, for whatever reason, they went back and talked with someone else and told them I said all this crazy-ness that was actually a discussion that two of us were having and both felt the same way about at the time.

Which is a good example of why "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything". If you don't say anything, then nothing can be said about you, right? That is a problem for me, even though I often try to monitor what is coming out of my mouth. I've become better about it over the years, but I'm not quite "there" yet. I find that when I feel strongly about someting I often voice it right out, even if I should just keep my mouth shut.

I see this most clearly in my relationship with "the ole man". Just a few days ago I was in the kitchen and he said something that just hit me the wrong way. I don't even remember what it was that he said now. Well, that night he and Rylie wanted to order pizza. I didn't feel like having pizza so I ordered a fold-over sub. When he asked me how much the total was, I told him and he said something about the expense.

Well, I automatically took that as an attack on myself because it would have been cheaper if I had just eaten the pizza and not ordered a sub. The next thing you know we are in an argument and neither one of us really knew where it was coming from or what we were arguing about. It was because of my own perception of what he was "really" saying. He didn't say "You flippin' idiot, why did you order that instead of just eating pizza?" But that was my perception of the meaning of what was coming out of his mouth.

I have this thing with always feeling undeserving and responsible for almost everything that can possibly go wrong. I apologize for things I have no control over, for things that I had absolutely nothing to do with. For example, if Ray doesn't have a second helping at dinner I flippin' apologize to him for the dinner not being good. He looks at me and will say "It's good, I'm just not very hungry", and I will apologize to him for that! How crazy is that?

It drives him absolutely mad, although we've learned to laugh about it over the years. Sometimes he'll say "I'm sorry" when he knows I'm about to apologize for something totally out of my control, or whatever. Then we'll get into this silly game of "No, I'm sorry".

Perceptions (my own and others of me) and brain to mouth monitoring...a few things I want to keep in mind as I go through each day. Things I want to learn to keep in check and be mindful of each and every day.

Well, enough rambling from me. I hope everyone has a really great weekend. Remember, Thanksgiving is coming up real quick here. I'll be doing recipes on Monday, if anyone has a recipe that they would like to share please send me an email with "recipe" in the subject line.
Thanks and Hugs!
Jill Marie


swmpgrly said...

You are named in my 11-22 entry

Indigo said...

Sweetie, you are allowed your perceptions. If they come out wrong, the hope is that friends can agree to disagree and talk to you. If not that just makes them the lesser person.

Paul is OCPD. It's not OCD. It's a whole new crop of annoying. Living with him is a world of mis-spoke, mis-conceptions, mis-understandings. I imagine your like me and when you feel like your backed into a corner, your hackles get raised and holy mother of....the other end better run.

I love your honesty...don't worry so much about who is getting taken wrong. I wouldn't want you to be any other way. Love ya! (Hugs)Indigo