One of the biggest stumbling blocks to happiness is that we are so frequently stuck in our stories. “My dad hated me.” “My mother abandoned me.” “I’m not as attractive (smart, popular, favored, wealthy, etc.) as my sibling.” “My colleague is secretly plotting to undermine my position in the company.” “Now that I’m older, I can only look forward to fragility, sickness, and death.”
These are actually not just stories we believe about ourselves– they are based on assumptions. An assumption is the act of taking something for granted, a supposition. It is rarely based on reality, yet assumptions are driving all human action and interaction in the world.
In a recent chilling example, Russian President Vladimir Putin assumes that if Ukraine joins NATO or is even neutral, the West (America, Great Britain, France, Germany, etc.) will attack Russia. Therefore he must subjugate and, if necessary, eliminate Ukraine. The West, on the other hand, assumes that if this happens, Russia will then move into other countries and eventually overcome all of Europe, threatening democracy on a global scale. Therefore we and other NATO members have increased the scope of our support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenzky and the Ukrainian people and threatened to go further if Putin continues his assault. As a result of assumptions on both sides, our world is teetering on the brink of WWIII.
So the question is, what is actually happening? What can be verified? Of which events or players can we say, this is true? So-and-so really is what we think he is. What I heard on the TV last night is an authentic report.
Imagine what might be possible if we could drop our assumptions and be fully present to what’s happening now!
A recent article by Power Path founder and shamanic teacher José Stevens addresses the fallacy of believing that our assumptions are actually true and suggests a different way of thinking. I am sharing this excerpt of his article here, and I encourage readers to follow the link to read it in its entirety on the Power Path website.
All About Assumptions: The Enormity of Their Impact
ALL ABOUT ASSUMPTIONS: THE ENORMITY OF THEIR IMPACT
April 20, 2022 By José Stevens Print this page
Miguel Ruiz, Toltec shaman and author of “The Four Agreements” includes “never making assumptions” as one of the four agreements to make with oneself for greater mastery in life. Unfortunately, most people have no idea what he is talking about. They think that perhaps they should not assume that everything will go easily and better have a plan B or that they should not assume that their job will always be predictable because one day there may be a new CEO or manager who will suddenly change their responsibilities. While these things are quite true and it is best to never assume that everything will remain unchanged, this is not exactly what he was getting at. The fact is that our deepest assumptions about reality itself require examination because these are the assumptions that keep us completely trapped in self-deception about who we fundamentally are and what is actually possible.