It’s all about perspective

June 8, 2009

in Communication, Good Marriage

A generous reader wrote:

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A few years ago I was the defendant in a litigation. The first day in the court room the litigant was give their testimony. I was amazed at what was said. The story was just not correct. Even my wife was shocked to hear their interpretation of the events.

Later I spoke with my attorney and told him what she said was not true. I will never forget his response: He said “It may not be true but they believe it to be true”. He told me he had practice law for over 40 years and he has learned one thing about people is we intemperate events in a way that protects us. So in telling what happened in a situation, we see the event in a way that will not make us look bad.

I then asked that if all people do that then is he saying I do too? He said yes. It got me thinking how I look at events and how to be honest in how I respond because I don’t want to be the guy that looks in the mirror and then walks away forgetting what I saw.

In marriage sometimes my spouse is holding the mirror. I need to be in tune and truthful in everything I do and say not to protect me, but to change me. To let God mould me.

So when my wife tells an event I listen more and ask more questions to see how she interpreted the event instead of challenging her.


2 comments
bcichowlas
bcichowlas

I think there are some very subtle issues here. For one thing, I think it is all too easy for many of us to deceive ourselves about ourselves for the reasons written in the blog entry. Maybe someone can help me with the source, but I think one of the most important prayers mentioned in the Bible is someone who prays God not to let them deceive themselves. But there is some moderation to this, too, unless one is the sort that questions whether there is absolute truth. Everybody may have their own perspective and intuitive feelings, but still some are, without question I think, wrong. Some believe other beings "like us" exist on other planets in the universe, others do not. Without getting into the semantics of what "like us" means or implies, one view is correct and the other is not, even if we don't know which is which. On the other hand, there are people that are mistaken about clearly factual things, such as mathematical truths. Even if some people genuinely believe that 2 + 2 = 5, that doesn't make it as credible as believing that 2 + 2 = 4. (And in mathematics, some of these issues are more subtle and controversial as well, as people like Kurt Goedel very cleverly and elegantly showed us.) But when it comes to matters such as spirituality and ethics, I do think we have to understand that these are matters that no mortal can fully know and be patient and learn from one another. Bruce

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

In High School I Learned that Sir Francis Bacon said this: "Truly blessed is the man who can see himself as others see him." Why "blessed"? 'Cause the revelation it will be to you of how you are perceived is on a hinge, which means it swings two ways. When I sought to see myself from my ex's point of view, back when I thought my marriage to her was salvagable, I became more understanding of her and blamed her less. And that was because what I saw in me, through her eyes, was not desirable but ugly and destructive. For when I saw the truth in the things she said to me, no matter how hurtful she meant them to be, I was ashamed of who I was. 'Cause, don'tcha know, that the truth about you hurts when you aren't living on the right side of that truth? That was when I began to seek how to change the 'soil' of my heart. To summarize, then, 3 years of the weeding and cultivation needed for that time, I began to percveive that I was changing for the better and that she was loosing her ability to accuse me accurately. Eventually, though, I was forced, by her actions, to give her what she really wanted, her freedom. And I got to leave the marriage with a clean conscience. Now remarried and that to a truly good woman(don't'cha know that you will never marry above your own level of emotional maturity?), I perceive that I am a decidedly different person in the mirror of my wife's comments and actions as well as in the mirror of the comments and actions of others toward's me, so that the soil that I perceive is in me now, is able to grow goodness and beauty. And I am not ashamed of who I am. Even as I am able to perceive when there is still some weeding and cultivating to be done. And thus I share this way because I know that you, too, can be good, even as you were created to be. "With men it is impossible. But, with God, all things are possible." Jesus.

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