We Exist In Different Universes
I have found when communicating with other people
it is important for me to remember that
they exist in their own universe.
Of course this means I also live in my own universe.
There may be some common elements in our universes,
but there are also many things that are significantly different.
Circle – Square
To the point that sometimes what looks like a circle to me
might look like a square to someone else
and no amount of arguing or convincing can ever
make you see my circle as a square
or make me see your square as a circle.
Entering Another’s Universe
It is possible however to enter into
another person’s universe.
We can train ourselves to at least
poke our head in there and look around.
If we are able to see things from
another person’s perspective
it makes it much easier for communication to occur.
A Universe of Conflict
Especially when a conflict is occurring
if we rigidly stick to our own universes
and refuse to look into the other person’s reality
it can be very difficult to find a middle ground.
In fact it can be almost impossible
to see where the universes overlap
if we are unwilling to also acknowledge
where they are different.
Sometimes I Just Want To Stay In My Own Universe
There are times of course when
I have no interest in looking into
someone else’s universe.
There are times that I simply do not want
to put the effort into finding that common ground.
Sometimes the differences between our universes are too great.
Sometimes I feel like the other person’s attachment
to their way of seeing things is too strong
and there’s no room for any other viewpoints.
And of course there are times when
my attachment is too strong
and I’m just not interested.
All of these situations are valid reasons
to avoid putting the effort into
connecting our universes.
I Give Myself Permission To Be An ASS—-!
Thankfully this is not the majority of my experience,
but it does happen and I give myself permission
to do so once in a while.
It certainly helps me to stay somewhat balanced.
Staying Out Of The Anti-Feminist Universe
Recently I was engaged in a discussion
on Facebook about feminism.
I quickly saw that the men involved had
no interest in understanding
any of the issues around feminism.
They only wanted to gripe about how
feminists hate men and men are
getting the short end of the stick.
The level of frustration I felt at hearing this
made me simply disengage.
Well actually first I wrote a few
sarcastic comments and then I disengaged.
Here’s one example:
Granted this was not the most effective
communication that I have ever expressed.
Not Interested In Changing Minds
As a friend pointed out
being antagonistic like that
never really changed anyone’s mind.
The fact is I really had no interest in
changing those people’s minds at that time.
I could see the distance between our realities was too great.
I have beat my head against that wall
many times over the decades and
have learned through the years
to do my best to avoid that situation
for the sake of my own peace.
Of course I could have been nicer,
or I could have avoided participating altogether.
In general I am a really nice guy
but as I mentioned above
I give myself permission
to be an ass once in a while.
I find it is good for the soul
and important for balance
to express that side of me
every now and then.
Perhaps one day I will evolve beyond that,
but at the moment this is who I am.
Being Very Spiritual
In the past I have gone through phases
where I felt like I was less spiritual
for behaving that way.
I would only be nice, compassionate and kind all the time
and never express this slightly harsher side of myself.
Now I recognize that it is useful for me
to accept all the sides of my personality.
There is nothing that is not Divine.
I certainly don’t use this as an excuse
to go around hurting people all the time,
but I also don’t want to deny that
I am a multidimensional being.
The Universe of the Child
Another area that it is useful to have an awareness of
the differing and overlapping universes of individuals is in parenting.
Children definitely live in
a vastly different reality than we do.
In fact their universe changes dramatically
every 6 months or so.
In order to connect deeply with our children
it is useful for us to be able to
see things from their perspective.
This means developing the skill
to enter into their universe.
When we do this we can actually
view our universe from theirs.
Adults are Strange
I must say the universe of adults
seems very strange when viewed
from the perspective of a young person.
From the time my daughter was born
I have worked very hard to exist in her universe
as well as my own at the same time.
This helped her to feel I was truly relating to her
and understanding things from her point of view.
It certainly has helped me to shine a light
on my own understanding of things and
made me more willing to
think different and
to be different.
Layers of Universes
The interesting thing about being an adult
is that we actually carry two universes at the same time.
We have our perspective as an adult,
the way we normally see the world.
And we also carry with us as an undercurrent
the universe of our childhood.
Many times when we are hurt or wounded
or when we get defensive
these are reactions that come from
experiences we had when we are kids.
Connecting to the Multiple Universes
When I am interacting with people
I often try and pay attention to
both layers at the same time.
I recognize I am talking to an adult
and an inner child both in the same body.
In order to truly enter the other person’s universe
I actually have to split myself into two pieces.
I send one into their adult universe
and the other into their child universe.
Well three pieces really because
I keep a little for myself.
This is very tricky and requires some
training and effort, but when we are able to do it
it is quite lovely to see the results.
Give Universe Jumping a Try
It might be an interesting idea
to try and recognize other peoples universes.
See if you can identify where they are similar,
where they are different and also try and
poke your head into someone else’s reality
and look around a bit.
Recognize when there may be times to avoid this.
Sometimes other universes can cause you harm.
But most of the time it is a useful activity to engage in.
Whether an adult or a child
they will appreciate the effort you made
to see things from their perspective.