Do you ever notice moments when your own or other people’s strong opinions and preferences get “activated?” …sometimes when interacting with someone who has a different firm preference in what to do or say, a different opinion or preference from our own…sometimes leading to a feeling that’s a bit like a dark cloud looming over us…
Preferences and opinions can tend to be a bit extreme or exaggerated…
and sometimes they’re firm and strong…
in either positive or negative directions
Perhaps it might be helpful
to remember that many of our own preferences are “simply” opinions,
created in and by our own minds…
coming out of our own early years and past histories,
perceived positive and negative life experiences,
reflecting our own varying strengths and weaknesses,
personal habits and habitual patterns of thinking and feeling
usually not inherently right or wrong,
simply “opinions” or “preferences”
created in and by our own minds
When the dynamic of that reacting pattern gets set off…
it can feel strong, perhaps even overpowering…
But with awareness and positive reasoning, it can be moderated…
for the benefit of both oneself and others
Oddly enough, sometimes these critical opinions are ones that we have about ourselves…
directed toward ourselves,
perhaps, judgmental ideas, critical thoughts or unkind observations?
Sadly enough, we are sometimes so “hard” on ourselves…
Instead of being beneficial, critical opinions tend to undermine the positives
it’s so important to develop more understanding and awareness of the process involved
and to learn to moderate those thoughts and ideas…
to live with increasing kindness, acceptance and understanding
A few possible strategies or awarenesses I’ve found…
ones that might help with understanding, moderating and developing the potential
for living with greater flexibility, calmness and understanding…
both with ourselves and with others
And one of the most important reasons to learn to moderate????
The awareness that our relationships within ourselves and with others
are more precious than our “opinions”…
and once we learn to moderate our own opinions,
others around us might become less strongly opinionated, too…
there is potential for far more happiness in both ourselves and others
make haste to be kind,
make haste to learn to moderate our own preferences and opinions,
make haste to nurture understanding and flexibility,
make haste to nurture happiness in ourselves and others…
Perhaps even make haste to cease to cherish our own “opinions”
I am taking an 8 week online program in CBT to help me to release anxiety, and the therapist asked me to fill out my thoughts in a worksheet of how differences of opinion create conflict for me. I responded that I hardly get into conflicts over different perspectives because I learned that we all see the world through our filters and life experiences. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t react internally. As an example, a friend of mine posted a quote a few months ago by the Dalai Lama in her Facebook page, and a man wrote that the Dalai Lama was the devil and to follow Jesus Christ instead. My reaction was one of annoyance and temptation to respond, lol, but let go of the feeling and temptation to respond.
Yes…so many different filters and life experiences in each of us. I also react internally…
Marie, I actually had a similar experience with a comment left a few months ago on Reflections…a very negative comment about the DalaiLama after one post with a nice quote by DalaiLama. I was stunned and indignant and didn’t know what to do about it. So, I wrote and asked Jampa and he said “nothing… just let it go, people have varying opinions and that commenter simply has his own opinion….leave the comment there and don’t reply to it….just let it go” After that I thought….”wow…if Jampa says that about a negative comment about the DalaiLama, one of his own special teachers, I guess I could learn to be less reactive in my life.” So, I simply left the comment there and didn’t respond.
Sooooo many opinions, with some people more verbal about them than others.
btw… I created this post to try to lighten up on my own opinions….because I really struggled and reacted last week with having a few too many opinions of my own, while visiting in NH…my less than positive opinions/reactions about what a less than alert, somewhat medicated 94 year old relative was saying to me…ahhh, so much to learn. (…. patience, too…I guess…. )
you present this lesson in such a beautiful way. I try to accept that someone’s opinion is how they see the world, or a particular issue. How I see it may be and often is, different, but I am learning more and more to just back away, walk away from discussions where someone holds a strong opinion about something. It is so energy consuming and really I’m not going to change their opinion because it’s how they see the world. An excellent post.
thank you, Joss…. it’s a “lesson” that I thought I’d made steady progress with, but stumbled a bit this past week… slow and steady, I guess. That’s a key…to just walk away, when possible. Joss, the way you phrased the ideas in your comment would make a helpful “reminder card”…
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