In my meditation this morning, it occurred to me how we all come to this moment bringing different viewpoints. Through the eyes of a child, or an elder, we bring our history and experience to inform our interactions. As I have been thinking about what history I bring to each moment, it occurs to me that our communications are a tapestry woven with the words that we say, our body language, our thoughts, feelings and the past experiences we bring to the table.
For example, a conversation about hunger can feel very different between the person with an empty stomach, or a history of feeling hungry and someone who has always had a full plate. How often our past experiences inform, consciously and unconsciously, our conversations and life decisions. One person might stock the pantry to the top because they never want to go hungry again, others eat out a lot because their parents didn’t cook when they were a kid and that’s how they observed food being created.
These sometimes unspoken beliefs can drive our interactions with people, often without our knowing. How does your upbringing effect how you raise your children? Does a certain past painful relationship come with you into your new one? Are you afraid to speak up because it was unacceptable when you were a kid? This morning, I took a moment to write down a couple of these beliefs that have grown from what I have seen, experienced and felt. It seems to me that is the first step in beginning to know what luggage you are bringing with you to this moment. I am bringing a global perspective because I traveled and moved a lot as a child, the experience being raised mostly by a single mother, and a strong belief in community because that’s how I was raised. Using these examples, it makes sense that I can appreciate multiple cultural viewpoints and have a love for travel, that I have a strong desire to create a foundation for my family because I moved a lot as a kid, a believe in community building and a deep knowing that life as a single mom has long hours and is the most rewarding experience ever.
What three beliefs are you bringing to this moment? Write them down and spend a moment with just three. For me, it’s helpful to identify where I am coming from. At times we all can forget that everyone comes with their own background, beliefs and history. I find it especially hard to remember in an heated conversation or a work meeting with on an intense topic.
Today, I am going into this day with the awareness that we all come from different viewpoints. And instead of everyone needing to agree with mine for conversations to be easy, that it’s our differences that make conversations rich and multidimensional. What is your intention for today?