I would like to delve into some spiritual taboos – maybe you’ve heard of them, maybe you haven’t. Either way, they are significant enough to address (or re-address as the case may be).
These are concepts put across through the masterful words and teachings, derived from Toltec wisdom, of Don Miguel Ruiz. He sweetened them up by calling them the ‘4 Agreements’ whereas I have used the word ‘taboo’ as a mere marketing ploy to attract your attention. As shameful as that is, I did it with the noblest of intentions. We need to hear this – over and over if that be the case.
Before we start with these tantalizing taboos, I want to address what it means to sin. To ‘sin’ is to go against your self or to ‘miss the mark’. So, go easy on yourself if you see that you have been performing or have been lured into the web of some of these sticky concepts.. You are on a path to enlightenment and when you embark on such a journey you need a basis of comparison. We have chosen this particular journey into the realms of the soul, so acknowledge your choices and correct them if it suits you. These guidelines are merely a way to steer you to counter balance your integrity if you do ‘miss the mark’. The key is to be aware at all times and to realign when you need to. Oh and did I forget to say FORGIVE yourself if you slip? These taboos are difficult to master but they can be mastered. When the seed has been planted as to what they are, it will be up to you – consciously or, sometimes, unconsciously – to water them into fruition.
In this article we are going to address the one spiritual taboo called ‘assumption’. It is a much overlooked and yet one of the most predominantly adopted characteristic of modern day society.
To assume is to not be in full command with the truth or fact. When we assume something we try to interpret, through sometimes limited knowledge or resources, what the truth might be. We then run with this perceived outcome, sometimes even starting to believe it to be factual without proof. It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? It is.
A more lighthearted look at this word sees the word ‘ass’ ‘u’ and ‘me’. How succinct, seeing as assuming does normally make an ass out of one or both parties.
Alas, all humour aside, it is something we do too frequently without much thought of the consequences of our minds presumptuous actions. This is not only dangerous but it is a detrimental factor in limiting us in relationships and with life in general. Our minds are powerful, this is something most of us know and are starting to quantumly comprehend, so when you mentally construct a truth and play it out over and over in your mind you can either (a) entirely convince yourself of it’s truth or (b) bring that scenario into play in reality – in other words, give form to your thought (Law of Attraction).
Assumptions cloud our discernments and play on our fears. When we assume we are potentially shutting a door to further knowledge or clarification. Let’s say you assume your husband is having an affair because he has lipstick on his collar. You do not confront him, fearing the truth to be what you imagine. You start to treat him differently, as if you are positive that his activities are dubious. He has no idea why you are acting this way. Cold shoulders and snide remarks rule the roost. This could go on for days, weeks or even, God forbid, turn into years of total distrust if it goes unconfronted. There could be so many reasons and outcomes to this situation but let’s take a look at just three potentials:
1. He was having an affair
2. A lady bumped into him whilst he was travelling in a lift leaving a trace of her lipstick on the side of his collar
3. If the latter was the case – you could have irreparably alienated your husband and driven him into the arms of another through your assumptions and unfounded suspicions. So in this case, you have actually given form or materialized the original fear based on an assumption that was not the truth. You have forced the undesired outcome.
Don’t assume. You will undoubtedly pay the consequences. Always ask. Communication is one of the keys to living in your integrity. Always steer yourself towards the light of truth, no matter how hard the truth may be. Burying the truth will always lead to more pain eventually. Any situation can be resolved. You never choose any experience in this life without there being a resolution. The only thing standing in your way is your perception of what you want the outcome to look like. Sometimes only time can tell whether something serves us or not.
Assumption can lead to a lot of unwarranted unhappiness. Ever heard of ‘stewing in your own juices’? Don’t do it! Rather get to the core of the situation – the source, the truth.
An exercise to try out would be to identify and stop yourself when you are assuming something (big or small). See if there are any alternatives to your assumptions. In other words, we often tend to gravitate towards being more negative with our assumptions. An example would be:
Your friend hasn’t called you in ages, she normally phones you regularly. You assume she no longer likes you or you have said something to offend her when in fact there may be several reasons for her lack of communication – none of them even involve you!
So, try to either get the facts or quell the desire to reach an assumed conclusion. When you go into this more deeply you will begin to unravel a lot of ‘baggage’ that your mind sets up through the act of assumption. You form ideas based on it and then your neural pathways fix and that idea becomes your ‘reality’.
Let’s say that you see your neighbour shouting at his children. You assume that he has anger issues and that he is a bad father. The truth of the matter may be that you have just caught him on an incredibly stressful day – he could be father of the year for all you know – but there you have made a mental construct, not through years of getting to know him, but through a momentary reaction that has now tainted your view of his personality and parental skills. You may even do further damage and air your opinions about him to others leading to an even greater adverse effect on his reputation based on your unfounded assumptions.
Now, how often do we do this? If you can just come to the realization that you are assuming – become conscious of this behavioral pattern in yourself – you can begin to change it and in doing so you can save yourself a lot of anguish that, more often than not, leads to so much heartache and misunderstanding.
To be continued…taboo no.2 – Taking things personally (you’ll know all about this one, I’m sure).
Traversing the realms of spiritual taboos and the common mistakes we make. Starting off with ‘assumptions’ – this article explains why these concepts are so damaging to our personal growth.