Sunday, August 24, 2008

Am I a C.I.A. Agent?

Today I picked up "The 5 Things We Cannot Change" by David Richo from my bookshelf as I wanted to refresh my memory on his thoughts on the F.A.C.E. of ego. I came across a couple of other great thoughts worth considering. Here's one for today:

"I am now more careful.... with everyone not to become the
CIA - Critic, Interpreter, and Advisor. We can make it a spirtual practice
- not to criticize others' behavior,
- not to interpret what they do according to our worldview, and
- not to advise unless we are invited to do so.
Eliminating these three behaviors from our repertory, especially with partners and family members, makes our communication much more loving and respectful." p. 11

This will be my spiritual practice for this week (and perhaps for the rest of my life, but for right now I'm just starting with this week). As I enter into conversations I will keep these questions in mind. Am I criticizing them? Interpreting their actions against my own worldview? Or advising them when they haven't asked for any? Or course I do all three of those things every single day, but this week I am going to focus on this, with God's help....I'll let ya know how it goes :)


Jan said...

That's a lot to remember! Good idea though.

ROBERTA said...

yes it is - but i'm gonna try to keep it down to the 3 main words of CIA - am i criticizing? interpreting? advising?

something tells me i'm gonna be very busy doing that :)

donna said...

Number two puzzles me. Whose worldview do we use to interpret? If the need to interpret is there, what yardstick do we use? Or do we need to interpret? Or should we interpret? It's hard to interpret what you don't understand, so do we get an interpreter? If so, what is their worldview?

ROBERTA said...

Since i've decided to not criticize/interpret/ or give advice this week it might be difficult to answer your questions :)

but here goes...

whose worldview do we use to interpret? well we use our own and that's where we run into trouble. you probably have a different interpretation of "worldview" than i do or the author did because we are all different. so here is my own interpretation of worldview.
It has to do with how you view reality - where you were raised, what time period you were raised there, what you were taught, what you have experienced and what you choose to believe...this makes up your worldview. Since we are all uniquely made in the image of God we will all have varying worldviews. So your worldview will color anything and everything that crosses your path. It's like our children when they were little....they all experienced our parenting style in the same time and place and yet all of them have distinctly different views on what that was like for them - and they hold varying interpretations of the same experiences!

Our beliefs cannot create reality. For instance, in America many people believed that Black people were less worthy than white people. In their worldview this was reality. Most people no longer believe that to be true though some still do. So if our beliefs don't create reality then perhaps our worldview is not completely in line with reality. I know mine isn't!

if the need to interpret is there, what yardstick do we use?
Is the need to interpret there? and why is it there? when i need to interpret i know i am experiencing the need to control - and that never works out for me or those that i try to control!

Or do we need to interpret? Or should we interpret?
We interpret or judge all day long - and some of that is for our survival.....(the person driving in front of me is drunk - i have made an interpretation here - i better keep out of their way for my own safety vs. the person in front of me is drunk - what an idiot/loser/disappointment that person is - they'll never amount to much)'s when we give up interpreting the choices that other people make for their own lives that we find peace...and that takes practice!

Do we get an interpreter? If so what is their worldview?
We have many interpreters....our parents, our teachers, our preachers, our spouses, etc. and that raises the question about how much we can trust their worldview! Personally, I try to rely on the teachings of Christ as my main focus = to love everyone, to accept everyone, to see christ's face in everyone i meet.....can i tell you how miserably I fail at that? And even with that as my main focus i have all sorts of other interpretations of people, places, and experiences swirling around in my head. When I was a child I felt very used. So when I feel that someone is trying to use me now it leads me to criticize them and interpret their actions - but that doesn't mean that i'm right! it just means that my past gets in the way of my loving others and myself.

hope this helps!


Moni said...

This came at a perfect time, Roberta, as I am struggling with some personal and family issues. I get so hurt emotionally all the time these days, and I think I am "interpreting from their world view." Thanks for everything you send.

Gannet Girl said...

Great thoughts, and particularly helpful right now.

Rebekah said...

BRAVO! I am going to join you! Oh, to be free from my small mind one day! :0)