Ok, as I write the title of this newsletter, the two words look the same. However, imagine different accents pronouncing them ‘tomayto’ and ‘tomahto’ instead. It was part of the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by George and Ira Gershwin which spoke of differences that could potentially end a relationship, yet also talked about how the ‘calling off’ of the liaison would have serious and negative results.
How does this relate to the subconscious mind specifically, and life in general? In a world of different perspectives, people and pronunciations, we could focus on the inequalities and dissimilarities as a ‘bad’ thing. Or we could uncover how differing viewpoints, even within ourselves, can create a vibrant and varied living landscape.
Same, but Different, Events
There are studies and, more quickly accessible, videos online that show how differently witnesses to the same event can interpret something. In criminal events, this can cause a lot of issues in the journey to sort out the ‘truth’.
Viewed through the lens of the subconscious, the way we see the world is not uniform to everyone else’s viewpoint. It is layered with experiences which filter our perspective – imagine that the internal ‘narrators’ of our life differs in ‘voice’ from person to person.
This doesn’t necessarily make one filter right and the other wrong (even though we may be looking at life through so many filters, it’s a challenge to see anything clearly), it just means that we may have a particular bias about certain people, events or situations.
So can we be true to ourselves and still be free to see other perspectives? There are a couple tips that might help.
Check yourself: When you find yourself at odds with others on a subject, you may be carrying some baggage on the subject. As my Aunt says “common sense isn’t often common” – being aware of your own assumptions and rationale can help you figure out where you’re coming from, so you can get a better sense on where you’re going. If you can’t ‘think’ it through, there may be some automatic patterns that were formed below your awareness. Hypnosis can help clear those up more easily.
Try on another shoe: Others may also be layered with filters that they feel are ‘normal’ or unfiltered to them.. When dealing with these layers, it can be helpful to bring compassion and empathy to the table when you aim to look from the other person’s history, influencers, predispositions or perspectives. Many ‘fights’ of differing world views can be downgraded to ‘misunderstandings’ when we approach a topic from another light. While you don’t have to agree on another’s angle, you may end up with a more complete picture.
Heads or Tails of the Same Coin
I was recently reading a sales article on the difference between being persistent and being pushy. What’s the difference? Most of the experts indicated that the one was desirable to the client/customer, while the other wasn’t. Yet without being in the prospects mind how do you really know?
We can’t really. There are subtle signs (or not so subtle signs, depending on your filters) when enough is enough, shifting persistent to pushy. Sales people, pick-up artists and therapists are always looking for that fine line, to bring about value or outcomes without breaking rapport. But even then, there may be different expectations or tolerances based on culture, gender or social ‘norms’.
Our patience levels can even vary between our external and internal experiences. I often hear clients who dismiss the mistakes of others by saying ‘well, they probably didn’t know better’ while giving themselves no such exemption for the same error (even when they didn’t know better at the time!) Whether through the filters we carry or our hind sighted assumptions of our foresighted omnipotence, we can be both highly critical of ourselves or create blind spots that challenge proper self-reflection.
So how can we be more clear with our differences to see whether they are strengths or weaknesses for us?
Realize there may be two (or more) sides to every story: Even though we can see an attribute as negative, there may be benefits to it as well. For example, ‘over sensitive’ may be seen as a weakness; in many situations ‘getting emotional’ is less desirable than being rational, cool and reserved. Yet it may be an important skill we need to connect the subtle undercurrents in our relationships (or protect us from being caught flat-footed or emotionally ‘flat lined’ in a situation that needs us to adjust quickly). In one situation it may be less appropriate, but in another, critical to survival or excellence.
Feeding both wolves?: There’s a Cherokee story about two wolves – one is anger, lies, sorrow, regret (read ‘bad’ stuff), while the other is joy, love, humility, peace (read ‘good’ stuff) – and the one that wins is the one we feed. However, an unfed, caged and unaccepted ‘beast’ can create serious problems and maybe greater harm. Acknowledging the drawbacks and exploring the reasons for our non-functioning patterns, as well as the potential positives in the things we do and the way we ‘are’, gives us multiple perspective on the different levels of ourselves. While we sometimes need some support in selecting or retraining our deeper patterns and emotions, starting to understand the ‘flip side’ of our challenges can give us greater patience, compassion and guidance.
When Alice came to a crossroads in Wonderland, the advice she received from the Cheshire Cat to her not knowing where she wanted to go was “then it doesn’t matter which way you go”. The conclusion to the Gershwins’ song was “let’s call the calling off off”. The reason for not ending the perplexing relationship, in spite of the challenge (and grammatical confusion), was that more would be gained by the union than by its dissolution.
Often clients come to me to make ‘hard’ changes in their lives. Doing what they’ve been doing for so long would be easier in some ways but might result in some increasingly negative outcomes with high negative cost or impact as the problem continues. Are there ways to make these tough shifts easier?
What’ll you lose?: If we look back on the different sides to our story, we may discover that there are some deep reasons why we aren’t following the most beneficial path right now. While these tend to be easier to access, understand and sort with the subconscious mind via hypnosis, knowing some of the undeniable reasons for ‘why not?’ can help us to understand, and often overcome, that conflict within.
What’s it worth?: Keeping in mind the beneficial outcomes can be an important supporter of keeping us on the right track. When we have a better idea of the value of the change (or even more powerfully, can ‘feel’ the benefits or the shift) it tends to be easier for us to stay the course. While urgency or external pressure may be compelling, internal and important matters (in a variety of different aspects of life) tend to hold our subconscious mind to account more strongly.
“For you like this and the other, while I go for this and that…” doesn’t mean that we can’t see eye to eye. In fact, when we start exploring “oysters” instead of “ersters” (it’s in the song), we also may discover pearls of wisdom we wouldn’t have gained on our own. If you need support in uncovering a different perspective, contact me today.
In the meantime, enjoy (vanilla, vanella, chocolate, strawberry)… Jennifer