Saturday, August 6, 2016

Framing References

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

The “Comfort” of “Knowing”

The purpose of this writing is to help you accept others people as is.

In other words, the purpose of this writing is to help you get beyond any criticisms, complaints, and judgments you may have about others, to get past any lack-of-understanding mental obstructions you may have about others, and accept these others—all others—for who they are, as they are.

On the whole, the reason we complain and criticize and such to begin with is because we don’t understand. We’d like to believe we do, but truly we don’t. Our perceived lack causes us discomfort and this discomfort is something few of us are willing to face head on. We thus clumsily fill in the ad-lib blanks of the stories we create in our minds about our subjective experiences—and totally believe them—in order to feel the “comfort” of “knowing.” Unfortunately, these stories lean heavily toward the false, irrational, negative, and destructive.

But be that what it may, there is in us a deeper yearning for love, peace, and acceptance, whether we know the full story or not.

If you feel drawn to step away from all the lies and false mental “comforts,” I invite you now to follow me as I provide you with a key concept of understanding and 5 tips to increased clarity.

Are you with me?

Good. Then let’s go…

Framing References

The key concept of understanding is in awareness of varying Frames of Reference.

What is a Frame of Reference, or FoR?

A FoR can be defined as the internal foundation out from which a person’s life expressions come. In other words, a FoR is the set of fears, beliefs, traumas, and all other conscious and subconscious stuff that determines what a person thinks, says and does, how they interact with others, and so on.

There are two points to make about this.

The first point is…

In the barest sense, in order to peacefully accept others as is you don’t have to know their FoR. You can, without a doubt, be more compassionate toward and accepting of others without this knowing. You simply acknowledge that those people you don’t understand—and may well make you want to piss and bitch and moan—have Frames of Reference that don’t jibe with your own.

To note, if you’re being triggered into reaction, it’s because there’s something about the others that is unconsciously resonant with something similar in yourself that you don’t like. At this you would do well to look within and resolve it.

Of the second point…

You may recognize the FoR of others to varying degrees of clarity. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll somehow know specific rooting incidents of their childhood. But you can, depending upon your level of awareness, pick up on body language, behaviors and practices, emotional expression or the lack thereof, etc. and be able to learn something about what internal references are framing a person’s experience. If and when you get really clear on things, you can read cues in just about everything related to them—type of job, where they shop, pet behavior, and so on.

For starters, a for instance: People generally cross their arms in conversation when they’re not interested in what others are trying to share with them; they may also slouch or lean. Subconsciously, these are maneuvers to inhibit the incoming energy of other; the former a straightforward attempt to block it and the latter an expression of the “weight” being more than they care to hold.

In a second instance, consider emotion and behavior. A boy is crying on the playground after being hurt. A bully walks over and calls the boy a “crybaby sissy.” As an onlooker you wonder how that bully could be so mean. Simply, the bully doesn’t know any better. It may be that his father is a “manly man” who refuses to cry and punishes and belittles his son for doing so. Now the son is out to prove to his father that he’s “good enough,” that he deserves his father’s “love” and approval.

Overall, if this work is to be taken to any depth below the immediate acceptance of other as having a Frame of Reference different than your own, the key point to remember is that you must get underneath superficial exterior observation and beyond the mind's immediate need to make self-serving fairytales. What you see in others (like what you, yourself, have been putting out to others) is 99.5% of the time a mostly unconsciously-scripted act.

With an open mind you must entertain the ways of others as though your own: If I behaved as they do, what beliefs, assumptions about life, and so on would I have to hold?

Here are 5 tips about making peace with the ways of others:

Tip 1: Education and Intuition

For the average person, a reasonable place to begin this work is with education. Inform yourself in areas such as behavioral psychology and self-help. This doesn’t mean you’ll need college courses but reading articles and books, watching videos, and talking with those who know will be a big help. Look into it and see what resonates.

While gaining an intellectual foundation, make it practical by observing both your own behavior and that of others; the former of which you can trace back with questions such as: What is this posture providing for me? and, Is this natural or learned? If learned, from who/what/where/when and to what ends?

You can also develop your intuition, which may be aided by the intellectual for perspective, and see what it speaks about self and others. Briefly, this can be done through self-inquiry and observation.

Whereas the solutions to math equations typically require the same formulas over and over again, intuition is open; meaning, you have to ask the appropriate questions and then “get empty” and see what comes up. Writing things out intellectually may certainly help at times, but intuition comes through a wholly different part of you. Again, the intellect provides reasoning and perspective, not intuitive guidance.

To know whether internally-attained information is intuitive or not, consider these 4 factors:
  1. Is it non-judgmental? If not, it’s false and of ego.
  2. Does it work? Intuition is “knowing without knowing.” It may contradict both what you’ve learned intellectually and what others believe, just as you may never get physical proof. No matter, it’s appropriate.
  3. Did it arise spontaneously? Insight springs forth from a still mind. Most other thought is misguided chatter posing as truth.
  4. Is it creative or unexpected? Intuition doesn’t work by the book. It’s not a close friend of standardization. It’s not asking for approval.
Also be aware that intuitive guidance doesn’t only come from within, per se. It does, but it can be more reflective in that you may get answers “out there.” For instance, if you notice you have issues with lack and question yourself about it, the answer may never spring directly into your mind. However, depending upon your level of attentiveness, you may notice that yesterday you’d questioned where your life-is-lack beliefs stem from and today your grandfather unexpectedly stopped over at your house and talked about the impoverished experiences he’d lived through during the great depression.

Answers are everywhere. It’s your task to figure out and ask the necessary questions.

Tip 2: Functionality

Remain mindful that what anyone says or does isn’t “good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong.” Such determinations are old, broken, dualistic thought processes. Sure, seeing the survival-focused “badness” perspective can serve us when we’re about to be attacked by a stranger in a dark parking lot. But judging “badness” of so many otherwise safe things we experience in daily life is to put on the blinders of a blurry Frame of Reference.

The way of any given individual (whether mystic or miscreant) is their way because to them it is functional. They use it because for them, whether they have full control of their behaviors or not, their inner directives on some predominating level of consciousness cause them to be that way.

Acceptance of and having compassion and even gratitude for other people is vastly easier when we’re able to discern functionality before making judgments.

Tip 3: Why Not?

When others put you in a state of discomfort and confusion you wonder, Why?

Perhaps the better question is, Why not?

We’ve been living in an experience of duality, which absolutely could not exist if there weren’t equal and opposite forces at work. As you may choose to be kind, so another may choose to be unkind; as you may choose to be unkind, so another may choose to be kind.

For the vast majority of people the vast majority of times, people who hurt others (and you’re sometimes going to be one) are all unwittingly and repeatedly playing out exactly, yet with personal interpretation, what their parents and childhood environment had taught them.

It’s a choice to teach it. It’s a choice to carry it on. It’s a choice to unlearn it and do something different. What any individual will choose and when is theirs and theirs alone.

Tip 4: Unawareness and Innocence

The fourth tip relates to unawareness: Others may not even know they are hurting you or the hurt may be you unknowingly hurting yourself based on personal false beliefs and misperceptions.

Frame of Reference-wise, perhaps your perceived offenders had never learned what you did so they think nothing errant of their behaviors.

Take many of the drivers from New York City in example. I live in Pennsylvania in a well-populated city, but traffic here at its worst hardly compares to daily traffic in NYC.

Once I’d turned 16 and got my driver’s license, I raved about every NY driver I neared on the road because their driving practices seemed so wild compared to my own. Then at 30, after 14 years of complaining, I had to drive to NY with someone—straight through NYC and Times Square, no less.

I was quickly humbled.

“Wild” driving is the culture anywhere even remotely close to NYC. Turn signals are optional and may go on only one flash before lanes are changed. Honking is the norm. Heavy stop and go traffic is more common than breathing. Said differently, unpredictable driving is the culture, it’s the FoR. If you want to drive to NYC and live to tell about it, you basically have to drive that way.

Which is all to say: When those New Yorkers come on in to PA, they have no thought that they’re hurting anyone. They’re merely driving how they drive, momentarily away from the rush yet with the NYC traffic culture still fully embedded and active. In truth, my biggest source of anguish was in me hurting myself with all my ignorance, frustration, and misplaced condemnations.

Tip 5: Personal Perspective

This final tip is in regard to the verbal cues of others.

Consider that much of what people speak (and we do an awful lot of talking!) can be begun or ended with a phrase such as, “from my perspective.” After all, it is in individual perspective (informed by beliefs, fears, etc.) that determines one’s perceptual life experience and what is related to others and how. In other words, we speak from our Frame of Reference. Just as we do with other behaviors, our words reveal to everyone exactly what our fears, beliefs, and so forth are.

Truly, little if anything is hidden. No matter how hard anyone may try to hide something from themselves or others, they’re still, usually unwittingly, telling everybody.

The question is: Who has ears to hear?

Do Your Own Work

The deeper you wish to go in framing references, the more important it is to work on understanding your own self. Because a fact of life is that you will never “get” anyone else unless you “get” yourself. At the end of the day, all life really is is a mirror of self. You see what you be.

If you’ve got all sorts of fears and silly ideas about how life is and how people are—though, of course, without self-work you’ll probably think them as “normal,” “right,” and “good”—you are going to project these falsities onto the world around you. You are going to inaccurately “read” others and open yourself and others to hurt. The imbalances you see in others will be, first and foremost, the reflected imbalances you see in you.

Even worse, because the ego so neeeeeds to “know” and be “right,” is that this perceived power can become arrogance which can lead to an unquenchable need to tell other people what’s wrong with them, how they should be doing things differently, and all that stuff that reeks of interference.

Yet, in the end all Frames of Reference are equal because they’re all wholly subjective.

So rather than taking your thoughts, words, actions, and mannerisms and such at face value, as “the gold standard” by which everyone should live—something nearly all of us have done to some degree since childhood—be sure to work out your internal struggles.

Only as you truly progress in understanding yourself, and thus become more accepting, aware, forgiving, and the like of yourself, will you truly be able to see others clearly and accept them and their “them-ness” as is.

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