~ Dalai Lama
Lotus Pond - Bruno Baumann
The other night after yoga, I was speaking with another student, discussing his hip problems and the spondylolisthesis of my spine and how yoga is so helpful. He told me of a therapist in LA who'd really helped him and that he'd give me the man's number. I thanked him but told him quite honestly that I probably wouldn't drive all the way up to LA and that a friend had recommended someone who was closer.
The man's response: "Well, you must not be hurting that bad if you're not willing to drive to LA."
I thought it was an odd comment at first, and then I gave it my full consideration, thinking about whether there was any truth for me in his observation.
Some might have thought his comment was insulting. This was the first time we'd spoken and he didn't know me or what I've been through with this condition, as well as other pain issues (from fibromyalgia, sciatica, scoliosis, transitional vertebra). Maybe he was being intentionally rude ... or maybe not. I don't know and really what does it matter if he was? The only one who knows the intention behind that comment is him. Any speculation on my part would be just that: speculation.
I'm not big on speculating about other people's motives for doing or saying what they do. I know of people - co-workers, family, friends - who often second-guess other's intentions: "I know that he did that just to spite me." "I know she did that because she wants his money." Uh, no, you don't know.
One person in particular is prone to spinning her theories and suspicions as if they're the absolute truth. When I gently counter with the fact that she doesn't really know, she insists that "well, it's obvious what she was trying to do. Anyone can see that!"
Hmmm ... I think I may be missing the "righteous indignation" gene ...
Have you ever had anyone misread your intentions? I've had a couple of occasions where I've said or done something with the best of intentions ... and later found that the other person assumed something entirely different than I'd intended. I would apologize for any hurt feelings and discuss the issue with a listening heart to both explain my intentions and also to better understand the other's perception.
Many misunderstandings arise from an incorrect perception. I could have perceived the fellow student's comment as rude and thoughtless, but that would be merely my perception, and not his truth, which only he knows.
These kinds of assumptions can really damage a relationship, so I try to never speculate about the intent behind another person's actions. Well, that's not entirely true. I do make one assumption: I always trust first in others' positive intentions. And I hope that others trust in my positive intentions.
I believe that it's very rare that anyone would be intentially malicious and hurtful to a friend. Am I being naive? Maybe. I've been told that I'm too trusting of others. Do I miss signals when someone is truly intending to be rude or disrespectful? Probably so. But what harm is there in that?
If someone is being rude, that's on them and has nothing to do with me or my happiness. I'd rather be naive and trusting in my happy little bubble of bliss than be suspicious and hurt for no good reason other than my own misguided assumptions. I'm much happier feeling that everyone in my circle is a good, kind, loving person and that we all have one another's best interests at heart. It's a nice way to live.