I fully subscribe to the philosophy that the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life. It is one of the main reasons I am a meditation teacher – the impact your mind has is everything. Perception is one of the biggest influences on what we think and our perception whilst made up of many things is really all about our interpretation of what’s going on and this, quite frankly, is where it can all go downhill.
Consider that everyone is always right from their perception and no wonder there’s turmoil and conflict and I’m not talking about the constructive kind!
If we only take in to account our way of seeing things then we can keep ourselves closed, contracted and locked in place unable to shift or move and being right won’t make us feel any better.
There’s a lovely Indian story that illustrates this…
“A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. “We must inspect and know it by touch.” When presented with the elephant they each had a turn… In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said: “This being is like a thick snake”. For another whose hand reached its ear: it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another, whose hand was upon its leg, said: the elephant is a pillar-like, a tree-trunk. One placed his hand upon its side, said: the elephant, “is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.” [adapted from Wikipedia + poem by John Godfrey Saxe]
Individually, each of them were right about their description of the elephant but they only held one part of the story, the elephant was actually much bigger than their part. If, when we find ourselves holding on too tightly to our positions, our rightness, our interpretation of events, we pause to consider that maybe there is a much larger story that can hold many truths, we can allow our grip to loosen.
It’s still bloody hard to do. We get triggered, we’re human, we judge, we want to be right, we assume, we’re afraid and insecure. All I know, it makes life easier, more interesting and deepens our connection when our minds are open – we can learn, grow, share and coach ourselves and each other.