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Glenda van Koot, June 22 2023

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Have you ever had thoughts like these?

“When I meditate I must be doing it wrong because I can’t stop thinking.”

“My spouse/partner/family/friend/co-worker should know that I want/don’t want to do ______.”

“This weekend I planned to do _________ and now its not working out at all.”

Well……here’s the challenge with all of those thoughts - you’re making assumptions.

Above Thought #1 - You’re assuming that you can’t meditate and are ‘doing it wrong.’ The fact is, everyone has thoughts during meditation.

Above Thought #2 -You’re assuming that your spouse/partner/family/friend/co-worker always knows what you like or don’t like to do.

Above Thought #3 - You’re assuming that something is going to go a certain way because you had the perfect plan mapped out in your mind.

Have you shared your preferences or your ideas with anyone? Other than simply thinking about them yourself? Or before you finished figuring it out in your head?

I’ve been guilty of this - although I’m much better than I used to be! I’ve had times where I’m sorting out what we’re going to do on a certain day or weekend, and am then disappointed when the people involved have other commitments or something else in mind.

I hadn’t shared my ideas with them in the first place so how could they have known what I was thinking? I mean really, of course they had plans of their own!

Stress can be defined as what happens to us when our needs are not met. Disappointments in our life most often happen when our expectations involve other people. Which depending on how big that expectation was, can result in stress.

The reality is that we can only be responsible for ourselves and our own actions. Everyone else has their own life to live and their own responsibilities. We can’t simply assume that they’ll always be able to do what we think they should do - or want them to do - when we want them to do it. Especially when we’ve made plans but forgot to tell them our ideas before we had them perfected!

The Third Agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements is Don’t Make Assumptions. If we don’t know something, don’t simply assume the answer - Ask! Don’t assume that everyone knows what we are thinking or that they are thinking the same way we are.

When we had our glass business, my husband, son and I all agreed it would be fantastic to have a waterfall in the entrance to our showroom. Each one of us could see it and envision how beautiful it would be. Water gently falling, the business name on a beautiful sign, you’d see it right in front of you when you walked in…. HALT!

That was one person’s vision. What we discovered was that although we talked about it a lot, when it got right down to it, each of us had been picturing something completely different but assumed that we were all picturing the same thing! And no, we never did build that waterfall…..

This agreement has been a big one for me and has saved a lot of heartache. It’s not that I never make assumptions, but when I do I realize it almost immediately and stop in my tracks.

There’s one more type of assumption we make, that I honestly think often causes us the most stress and turmoil. I feel so strongly about it that I had to make this video.

I guarantee that if you can do this one thing - stop making assumptions - that you will never regret it. Yes, we want to be able to write our own story and carve our own path, but these are the stories that stop us from moving forward and living a life with greater serenity. And after all, isn’t that what we all want!

I’ll see you on the path. 

 Namaste, Glenda

Written by

Glenda van Koot


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