never presume

Thursday, 28 April 2011

I hold fast to the belief that if life starts pinging you with pebbles, and you don’t listen, it will start chucking bricks. If you still don’t listen, it will probably end up dropping a whole mountain on you.

I also believe that things recur in our lives to teach us a lesson – and that they will not stop recurring until the lesson is learned. Want to change things for the better in your life? Listen to the lessons.

A recurring theme for me of late has been this one: never presume. Lately I've been met with some heavy presuming or suffered under my own inclination to presume.

Presumption doesn’t just extend to family and close friends… it could even extend to the shirty checkout chick or the crabby postman who jams a ‘please don’t bend’ envelope into your mail box.

Substandard behaviour is substandard behaviour – but sometimes I wonder if it would be wise to stand back and observe that behaviour. . . and not necessarily read into it or judge it or – worst of all – dissect it with a team of gossip-ravaged people, whence upon it rolls and gathers a rather ugly (and most often false) life of its own.

Ugly talk like this (as we all know) can really injure a person.

Here’s a fact: We can never know what is happening in the lives (let alone heads) of anyone else, even our closest family members. We can’t possibly know what physical, mental, emotional or circumstantial issues or events are shaping their lives, affecting their lives, contributing to their behaviour.

Babies and young children so beautifully express their distress, their problems, their ‘issues’ in the simplest of ways – crying, eye-rubbing, needing to be physically close. As we grow and as the tapestry of life wends us from pillar to post, we develop ways of being and coping – mechanisms, reactions, anxieties, whatever – that complicate the natural way we respond to life’s challenges.

We become harder to read. We self-protect. We react and deal with things in ways other people may not understand. Sometimes we’re rude, secretive, chronically passive-aggressive, negative or manipulative. Sometimes we just want to hide from the world.

It’s not fun to deal with inexplicable or aggressive [particularly that most abhorrent passive-aggressive] behaviour, but I’m currently learning that odd behaviour doesn’t necessarily the person make. Being spoken to rudely or having my actions misrepresented by others doesn’t define me . . . and so should not affect me.

Alas, it does affect me, and I’m really striving to change that. I’m so striving to not give a shit. The older I get the more I realise that life isn’t so much about what happens to us as it is about how we handle and respond to it all.

Have you been doing some presuming?


Green Mama said...

Someone told me once that you can't change anyone's behaviour, only your reaction to it. I love that one. The same person also told me if I want support, buy a bra. You can't argue with logic like that! When all else fails, tell them to bugger off. From the solitude of your car!

Tania McCartney said...

Hi Green Mama! I also love this idea that you can't change anyone, only your reaction to them. Of course, this is tough to do when you care about the person or can't explain their behaviour for love nor money. I suppose all we can do is know our own self-truth and choose to react accordingly. Or tell them to bugger off!! (car or no car) :)

What the Kell said...

I really needed to read that.
I needed to hear that right now.
I am a bandit for reading into things and long jumping to my own conclusions.
Thanks for that Tan x

Tania McCartney said...

Lovely Kell - we all do it to a degree - some more than others! It's so destructive and wounding - both when we do it and when we're victims of it. We only know our own truth... and that should be enough. x

Dani said...

I hate that scool yard behavior. I wish people would just grow up. Don't they realize how wonderful it feels to make someone smile?

Megan Blandford said...

Beautiful, Tania.

Cosmic said...

well said, articulated and thus an excellent post, Tania!


Tiaras said...

I am sure I left a comment her eon this post already - I know I read this? dang blogger ghosts!

Anyway - you know my thoughts of these topics! Stand proud girlie! Like - no - LOVE your "shine"!!

Tania McCartney said...

T - I think one of the most freeing things in the world a woman can do is pull away from presumption (both by oneself and under sufference from others) and so live a free and beautiful and productive life. With this act comes the knowledge that you can't please everyone all of the time - but also that you should NOT please everyone all of the time.

I'm so sick of doing what everyone else wants me to do or thinks I 'should' do. As the great Homer once said to his wife Marg - 'Let me live! why don't you let me live!?'


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...