When I, Susan, was in 7th grade, I was sitting in social studies class not really paying attention when a thought went through me like a lightning bolt. Suddenly, I realized that not everyone thought like I did. This may seem obvious to many but at that moment I was really glad I was sitting down for my world seemed quite different.
Flash forward to two weeks ago and almost half a century later. I was walking with our construction manager Manny between our house and another he was now working on in the neighborhood. Manny was fixing a leak in our fountain and on his way back to building walls at the other.
I asked him if he enjoyed having a break from the labor-intensive work at our neighbor’s while working on our fountain.
He looked at me blankly as if I was speaking a foreign language. (Actually, I was speaking Spanish at the time). He said, “Work is work.” I realized then and there that I was running a story based on my perspective that labor requiring greater physical exertion was harder for me and that it must be for him too.
Stories are movies we run in our minds that can wake us up or keep us asleep.
I’m still learning to notice when I make assumptions or judgments because of the story I’m running that keeps me asleep. It may be a lifelong series of lessons. And Manny in his wisdom gave me the opportunity to notice the story I was running.
Have you recognized a story you were running lately?
We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts or stories below.
Susan and David
Hi Susan and David,
Yup. When I was young I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t think like the general public and then didn’t like those who did think like me because we were in remedial classes together at school.
Lately, I had a relative visit that I layed ground rules to. I thought I was alert to their behavior, but in reacting, found I was asleep and awoke to finding myself in a jar of fog which only lifted after they left and I wrote an email expressing myself. I assumed they would get the ground rules and could not figure out what I was reacting to until after they left. Not fun, but a challenge I imagine, well learned.