Archive | May 22, 2013

The third agreement: Don’t make assumptions

Back to coping skills and Ruiz’s Four Agreements.

This one works hand-in-hand with the second. Actually all four work together but this one helped me not get upset or angry, in other words not to give control of my emotions to another.

I stopped assuming I knew the reason people did or said things. Who knows why people do things! Clearly there is a reason but it is not probably what you thought. We sometimes get upset when people do things, assuming they’re out to get us or hurt us, and it may be a total coincidence or for some reason not connected with us at all.

Alternatively, when we half understand what someone says we tend to assume we know exactly what they meant. This misunderstanding can cause all manner of angst and distress.

Similarly, don’t assume people know what you mean or want. We do this with our partners. What newly-coupled female hasn’t said to her partner, “Well, if I have to tell you why I’m upset, you don’t understand me and it is even worse”? Or, when the partner doesn’t do what we want or expected we say, “You should have known.” Why should he know?

There is so much control and sadness in relationships centering on taking things personally and making assumptions.

Reminding myself of these two agreements helps me to stay more calm.

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Now time for today’s log:

  • 1. Did I have a laugh today?
  • Yes, through the pain.

  • 2. Did I give someone a hug today?
  • yes, delicately.

  • 3. Did I do a relaxation activity, such as read a book, have a bath, light a candle, dream, call someone and have a chat, sit in the sun?
  • Sat under my heated throw.

  • 4. Did I do something good for someone else or be nice to someone?
  • Yes, several things, including giving a helping hand for 2 colleagues’ careers.

    Today’s second decluttered item = a teapot. I have half a dozen very nice teapots. This one is cheap and tacky; the metal is plasticky. It was given as a gift and received warmly, so the gift-giver felt happy. But I don’t feel obliged to keep it just because it is a gift, nor do I feel sentimental attachment. Well, the latter is a bit of a furphy, and makes me sound better than I am. The gift was given to my husband but he doesn’t want to keep it either. It won’t be missed and it is not decorative so adds nothing to our home decor. Off to a charity shop. Someone will like it.

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    Wednesday’s Mini Mission

    Joined in with Colleen’s mini missions? I know lots of people have been inspired my her. She has motivated me to declutter. I am a long way from leading a minimalist life, if I even ever want to, but I have to get stuff out.

    And I am trying to do so without adding to landfill. I don’t want to sell. Why add stress to my already overcrowded life? Why add more to do? And I didn’t buy things in order to make money. The money’s gone; I’m not budgeting for it to come back. So much of what I declutter goes to local charity shops.

    As does today’s item. Following Wendesday’s mission, I am decluttering a stationery item.

    Today’s decluttered item = a book borrowing thingy. It has post-it notes and a pad for keeping a record of books loaned to people. Given by a friend, I received it with joy. The joy was in being thought of and having someone care enough to buy me a gift. I still hold that positive emotion and don’t need the gift to remember that the friend is a thoughtful, kind person with whom I am glad I have a relationship.

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