And that is a chilling way to live. Think about it. Assumptions are idle, lazy things. They don’t even care enough to own up to the fact that they are mostly composed of lies. We blink in their face and they blow smoke in our eyes and up our asses. Like politicians, we too readily accept them at face value and never hold them accountable when things go wrong.
After I wrote this, I wanted to know why I had come to this conclusion and how it was such a destructive force in my life. Assumptions are the white lies we tell ourselves to get from one day to the next. They nestle us in our comfort zones and drain pleasure from the people and things we value. And, if you’re like me, they go unnoticed most of the time.
At the end of a little introspection, I came up with three ways hidden assumptions affect me and possible courses of action I can take to make some serious positive changes.
1. I keep asking the same questions.
All of my self-doubts were the same old questions buzzing around my head for months. I kept looking for new ways to approach these doubts and questions instead of realizing I was asking the wrong questions to begin with. Plan of action: Focus on brainstorming different ways of looking at dilemmas. Instead of meditating on my options (which freezes me into complete lack of any action),decide on a course of action and go through with it.
2. Even after experience has taught me otherwise, I’m afraid to be vulnerable around people and tend to say what I think others want to hear instead of standing ground on my beliefs or feelings.
I always assume the best about others and the worst about myself. I’m that person who rehashes conversations months old and winces because I told a lame joke or shared something intimate about myself. I assume others have richer, far more complex inner lives and in turn I am petty. Whacky, I know. But honest. Plan of action: Assume everyone is as petty as I am. Kidding. My plan is to send an unexpected note to a friend. The point is to take the focus from myself and do something for someone else with no expectations.
3. I’ve become too content.
Up in the air has become my comfort zone. I secretly assume that since I have a loving husband, great kids, and we pay a mortgage that my life is better than I deserve and this assumption leads me to fear that making any changes will cause it all to vanish. Don’t rock the boat, baby. That old trick. Plan of action: Well, crap. No day but today, right? Do one thing different. Edit and submit that story I’ve been sitting on. Make a date to go to the local coffee shop with a pen and a notebook.
Any thoughts or insights on the hidden dangers of assumptions? Comment below.
You told me you’re no more
than the silence where dark
meets ice the satellite earthbound. Your eyes no longer burn
and the tangled branches of your memory catch the snow
falling light that made you turn from time
and the beating of thoughts rigid.
Knowing their gaze averts
laying pity aside like a dead leaf unavoidable.
When it is you only want the wanting of a voice
or to dance
as pain bears you rest in hours long and grieving.
I let words slide like a blanket across my feet so right
(and the right words are unkind)
but too heavy to be the gift you needed.
It touches me still and I wake, too, tangled
in damp sheets of blank paper trying
to find the cool spot of comfort.
I am no air no gird or the weightlessness required
by a satellite earthbound in the brief quiet of a winter eve.
I can’t pull back the threads or count
vapors backwards by number. I am prescient clumsy. Wanting the need
to never stop hushing myself when into the stillness
I sing hearing the four-beats of a waltz ended.
Unseeing the white shrouds over tenants of names
memory does not forget but averts its gaze,
not with pity, but in languor.
As beauty slumbers deep in a dream of satellites earthbound.