Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ten Important Things I've Learned

I realized recently that there are many important things I've learned from various sources that God has put into my life.  Conveniently, there are ten of them--a nice round number.

1Shift judgements to curiosities  ~Rescue Institute

I found The Rescue Institute recently on Twitter.  They tweet all kinds of motivational type sayings and this is the one that hit me the most.

 I love the idea of being curious about life.  I think it keeps us feeling alive and in touch with all that the Creator has put here with us.  

Judging closes us off.  It closes off communication and prevents real change.

Curiosity opens us up to share God's Love. 

2.  There is a physiological/psychological basis for many things that we assume people do out of pure ignorance or stubbornness. 

I learned this recently in a behaviorism class I'm in at work.  Even such mundane things as what we like (or don't like) to eat is partially based on an in-born trait.  Taste aversions are common in human beings and are there to help us avoid things that are poisonous.  It is easier to "learn" to dislike a taste than it is to learn many other things. 

Various types of behavioral conditioning are acting on us even when we are not aware of it. This may result in us disliking some pretty odd things for some pretty illogical reasons.

For example, if you feel ill from spoiled food, you may not learn to dislike that food in the future. Your brain may have learned to associate the nauseated feeling, not with the food, but with the song that was playing on the radio at the time you felt ill! You may still be able to eat that food in the future, but forever dislike that song.

Makes no sense? It does to your brain! 

3.  People are doing things because of THEM, not us. 

This is true.  It is often hard to believe, but it is essential that we err on the side of believing this truth. 

4.  We are attracted to like individuals.

Find someone you like?  There is probably something about yourself that you and that person share. You can learn a lot about yourself by finding out what you and that other person have in common. 

5.  We are happier when we live according to our values. 

Sounds fairly obvious, but this is also important to remember.  If you are unhappy, think about where in your life you are being asked to go against your value system. 

6.  It is worth finding our values. 

Living in alignment with our values/beliefs/preferences is worth doing.  It is worth searching high and low to find out what these are. 

7.  Our values can be discerned by finding out what makes us happy. 

Does something consistently put a smile on your face?  If so, it is probably something you value.  Values don't have to be the "big" things like "peace on earth".   

8.  There can be many ups and downs in life that fall within the range of normality.  

Emotions fall on a spectrum.  Think of a number line.  Zero is pretty much comatose and 10 would be jumping off the Empire State Building because I believe I can fly.  The territory in the middle is well within the range of normal.  Life has ups and it has downs.  That is ok.  

[Perhaps 2 and 9 are not normal either, but you get the idea.]

9.  We may need to go outside of our immediate circle to interact with people who share some of our values. 

Just because we love someone doesn't mean they are 100% like us.  That's ok.  Variety is the spice of life. 
Look outside your immediate circle to find more people who share your values. 

10.  Conversely, we can increase the gratitude we have for our own immediate circle by remembering numbers 1-3. 

Be curious about others, don't judge them, and assume that they are acting out of something within themselves.  


TACParent said...

This is wonderful. I am proud of you for taking the time to do an inventory and writing down what you have learned. It will help you remember it ... and if you forget, you can always go back and review it. Here are my comments.
1. I like this one. Quite a while ago I programmed my cell phone to read, "Observe - No Judgment." It is a nice reminder for me to see it frequently throughout the day.

2. I think this makes perfect sense. In fact, I think there are many times we aren't even aware of it, until it passes. For example, we may be weepy for a week. Then one day we will write a check and be reminded of the date and recognize that it is near the anniversary of a sad event in our lives.

3. I believe this too. We all have our own "issues" and our own personal beliefs (blue IS the best color, etc.). Therefore, often how someone responds to you has more to do with their stuff than your stuff. Make sense?

4. I agree here too. But I have also learned that if something really bothers you about another person, it's a good time to check in with yourself as well. It is quite possible you have that same trait.

5. Amen. I've lived this time and time again. I ask, "Why am I not happy here?" Sometimes it is hard to cut the ties or move away from something that goes against your values...but it is worth it.

6. Ditto above.

7. Exactly. That is why I know what at least two of my callings are: working with special needs kids and teaching Qigong.

8. Yes, it is ok!

9. Good idea. Sometimes it takes courage. I pray for that courage.

10. Amen, indeed, Amen!

Dymphna said...

1. That's an excellent idea to program a reminder on your cell!
2. Realizing that others (and ourselves) have reasons for things that are unknown even to themselves helps with tolerance.
3. Exactly. It is hard, sometimes, to remember this, but, important.
4. Yes! Hard to face, but true!
5. Very true. Remember that God is with us wherever we are.
7. I think the gifts God gives us are what makes us happy.
8. Something to constantly remind myself of.
9. Yes, it certainly does! And it also takes persistence.

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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