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Assumptions prevent connection

When I took my Nia Technique White Belt Training back in January 2003, we were taught about The Four Agreements.

Those agreements have been imprinted in my consciousness ever since.

1. Be impeccable with your word 2. Don't take anything personally 3. Don't make assumptions 4. Always do your best

Of course, I wasn't able to embody their wisdom 100% every day. It's been and remains an ongoing practice.

But they remain a guiding set of principles that have always helped to bring me back to equanimity.

I could write a whole essay about each agreement, but today my focus is: Don't Make Assumptions.

And one very particular thread that follows on from that.

It's how assumptions prevent connection.

What I notice as a very visible persona on social media, is that many (if not most) people respond to my posts with a projection.

As in, they read what I've written, filter those words through their own set of beliefs/desires/orientations and imagine they know me and what I believe, desire or need as a result.

Much of the time, they're completely off. Responding and relating to an idea of "me", that doesn't exist.

That is far more a reflection of who they are, than I am.

And sometimes even imagining they know me better than I do myself. LOL !

There's no way we can connect from there.

I remember the very same thing happening with my parents. Rather than asking me how I feel, what I want or believe, they told me.

They assumed to know. Were pretty much always wrong. And would go so far as to insist they were right if I protested.

That, as I later found out, is called gaslighting.

But again, point being there was no way we could connect in that dynamic. They weren't seeing me. They were relating to a mirage of their own making.

The upshot of this conditioning was, that I lost confidence in myself and got very triggered by others' projections.

Being so sensitised to it, I felt any misperception keenly and, yes - agreement #2, took it personally !

The gift was, that I developed a sharp capacity to read people and elicit their trust, by being genuinely interested in them.

Doing unto others, what I had so wished for myself.

Yet in that hallowed sphere where it matters most - romantic relationship - I would frequently become the projector myself!

Seeing the man I wanted to see in front of me, rather than the actual. Failing to ask questions or neutrally observe his actions to: figure out who he really was, what he actually wanted or what he was really up to. Filling in the missing details with my imagination. Oh, and getting pissed off, that he couldn't read my mind! LOL !

Those situations never ended well either. Causing me all kinds of emotional and mental anguish. Pushing him away. Blocking intimacy.

Sound familiar?

Now. What does every human being long for?

To be truly seen and heard. Right?

Why do most relationships - of any kind - falter or fail?

Because we don't feel received or understood.

And what shifts this?

Transparent communication. Asking questions. Answering in truth. Active, whole-body, self-reflective listening. Saying what's real.

Not making assumptions.

And what happens then?

Connection ! Love. Trust. Intimacy. Depth. Flow.

And, sometimes too, a natural, yet respectful breaking away, in the recognition and honouring of different needs and directions.

I get that there are all kinds of reasons why we assume.

It bolsters the beliefs we want to keep about people and the world, even if they're limiting and oppressive.

It gives us a (false) sense of safety, predictability, power and control.

It enables us to be self-righteous.

It means we don't have to ask scarey questions or reveal uncomfortable truths we fear will lead to rejection.

It's how most people operate, so we pick up the habit and run with it.

But if you want connection, true connection.

If you want aliveness, intimacy and flow.

If you want peace both personally & politically.

If YOU want to be seen and heard.

Then Don't Make Assumptions.

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