All day every day we are sending and receiving messages from one person to another.
Messages are being exchanged by all our senses based on what we:
- Feel as a result of touch
- Feel through our awareness
- How they look via their facial expression, body posture and body movement
- What we hear based on what is said or not said — their actual word content along with the volume, tone and speed in which they deliver their message
- The way in which a person touches us and how that touch actually feels — is it rough, gentle, hard, genuine, forced etc
Without any of the above senses we also receive messages through our natural ‘awareness’. Have you ever walked into a room full of people and it ‘feels icy’? You can ‘sense’ something does not feel right, even though everything you are seeing and hearing looks OK? That’s our innate ability to ‘feel’ the world — our AWARENESS.
As children we rely on this awareness as our primary source of understanding the world. However, as we age, we tend to focus more on what our head can make sense of, in contrast to what our body feels (our innate awareness).
For example, I might have previously been hurt by a person who has black curly hair. In future, each time I interact with ANY person who has black curly hair I could project my previous hurt onto this current situation. By doing this, I am lacing the current situation with this new person (who is actually innocent of ever hurting me), yet already predicting they will hurt me — thus I approach this situation guarded and not open and re-interpret something that I receive from them as ‘hurtful’, thus confirming my prediction.
I wonder how many situations we have pre-laced and re-interpreted based on our past hurts? This style of receiving messages is based on our “perceptions” and not the actual facts.
In reality, many of us are all lacing our future with our past and not living based on what is happening now — our present!
Living with perceptions results in us becoming protected and guarded to the world and thus very open to being regularly hurt. This is very harming to our own development and overall psychological well-being.
Living with understanding — that is, knowing that each person is responding to the world based on their own past experiences, most of which we will NOT be privy to – allows us receive each situation based on its current merits and free of any harming additives. We do not personalise other people’s behaviour — we understand it!
Imagine a world if we all lived from our awareness and approached each situation as a new, fresh untainted experience … in comparison to lacing every new situation with our perceptions and interpretations based on our past experiences.
We would have a world with reduced personalisations, minimal misinterpretations and a lot fewer hurts experienced by all.
And therefore, a lot fewer mental health and behavioural issues and improved psychological wellbeing for all!
This article was originally published in the February 2014 Edition of Haven Magazine.