I was listening to a conversation What humans have going for us with Shannon Cooper and her guest John El-Mokadem. In the conversation closer to the end John mentioned how even when he was arguing with his wife he was never really arguing with her.
He was only arguing with his perception of his wife.
Inspired by the conversation I felt like I wanted to share my own reflections about the same truth. Despite what we are used to think, we are not experiencing the other person as they are, but we can only ever experience our own thinking about them.
How we see the other person is what we are experiencing.
This means that also when we are in a relationship, we are not in a direct relationship with the other person, but rather in a direct relationship with our thoughts about them. When we communicate with our partner we are communicating with the person we see with our mind’s eyes.
And when we argue, we are not arguing with the other person either — ever — but we are always arguing with our own perception of them.
Why is this helpful to understand?
Because when we begin to get a sense of how our mind works we begin to take ourselves less seriously when we are in a low mood, make less meaning about things, argue less and ultimately enjoy better relationships.
Arguing is never the problem
When I’m tired and stressed I tend to argue more — And unfortunately to my partner he happens to be around a lot of those times.
Arguing is never the problem when it comes to our relationships, it’s seeing arguing as a problem that makes us suffer.
We can enjoy good relationships and still argue.
No matter how much filled with love our relationships are, we can never escape our own humanness. We will always experience our ups and downs.
There are times when we see the other person and our relationships more clearly and times when our thinking is clouded by our negative thinking.
That’s never the problem — And having a deeper understanding of this is something that eventually takes away our suffering and allows us to enjoy the whole experience, both our relationships and our humanness more fully.
The experience of our relationships is always created inside-out
Our experience is always created from within — It’s created inside-out.
How we experience the other person is not who they are — We can only experience our thinking about them.
However the clearer the mind we have, the less our experience is filtered by our thinking. The deeper understanding we have of our human experience, the calmer we tend to find ourselves in life and the more we are able to experience our partner and other people as they are.
The more we are able to be in a direct relationship with them.
Whenever we get caught up in our thinking on the other hand, we experience our negative emotions and our picture of the other person is always colored by our negative thoughts.
As soon as our thinking settles and our mind calms down we are able to experience the other person more as they are again, and naturally have a more fulfilling experience of our relationships.
Our true nature
Our true nature is always love and that’s also the natural state of our being and the natural state of our relationships.
As soon as our mind calms down and our thinking settles, we come back to the present moment to experience this.
Whenever we have a calm mind do we not only see the reality and the other person more clearly, but we also experience love.
Because love is our true nature.
Yes, we do get caught up in our thinking from time to time because that’s part of our humanness, but as soon as we settle we always come back to the natural state of our being.
We always come back to experience the other person more as they are and getting a better sense of who we are deep from within.
Deeper understanding as a shortcut back to love
Because our experiences are always created from within we can never really experience the other person for who they are.
That’s why we can never really argue with them either.
We can only argue with the picture we have in our heads about them. When we begin to get a sense of how this is true, no matter if we get caught up in our thinking and argue, at some point we begin to wake up. We begin more easily wake up to the truth that we are not really arguing with the other person.
And when we wake up to this truth, it simply stops making so much sense to us continue arguing.
It becomes easier to let it go and allow our thinking to settle down.
We always come back to the present moment to experience the love that exists in our relationships and seeing the other person and our reality more clearly.
This happens naturally, whether we are aware of it or not. The deeper understanding we have about the process and how our minds work, the easier it becomes for us to let it go, so that we can experience more of the love and all the beautiful feelings that exist in our relationships.
The more we begin to experience fulfilling relationships.
Our deeper understanding where our experiences come from is the shortcut back to the feeling of love — Back to love.