In my youth, critical thinking was highly valued as the primary skill of a problem solver. Of course, in the western worldview of North America, rational science was god. Hence, children were trained to analyze data, diagnose problems, and choose appropriate solutions. Judgment and competitive debate were viewed as necessary to develop mental acuity, which was rewarded in the many families, schools and workplaces I attended.
My own family training ground was most visible at Sunday suppers where full-on discourse and debate (right vs. wrong) disagreeably tried to solve “all the world problems.” Although I did learn how to express my ideas and be heard, I also learned how to compete for attention and air time. You may remember, there could only be one right answer . . . a point of view or belief that our current international relations continue to bump up against.
Like me, did you spend the next several decades releasing a need to win and replacing it with a need to collaborate? Interestingly, collaborating with others requires a ‘win-win’ approach, which obliges us to accept there are many possible solutions to any obstacle. The journey from ‘having an opinion’ to ‘no point of view’ challenges us to share our ideas and feelings without making another person wrong.
Awareness of a new gentler way always precedes the accompanying effort of internalizing this new practice. For example, when my testiness button is pressed during dialogue, the mantra I repeat is . . . Which is more important? To be right or to be in relationship? Arguably, “being in relationship” surfaces as the inner truth much more often than being right.
A collaborative attitude not only brings forth the physical, energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual support and creativity of our human collective but also attracts the same from all of life. You may be familiar with this adage — What you give out returns to you tenfold. Or in the words of Louise Hay . . .
Life is really very simple. What I give out, I get back. What I believe becomes true for me.
A critical judgmental point of view limits abundance. A wait-and-see point of view attracts abundance. The poem below from my latest book titled, Mad Woman Laughing, speaks to this transformative journey from judgment to acceptance.
No Point of View
To see without a point of view,
enjoy the scenery without knowing the destination.
Still pulled by an old pattern of worry?
Foreground or background, trees or forest,
which are we to see?
One tree, one step,
unfolds a moment-by-moment path
while the forest embraces an entire vision.
Is it possible “both/and” is the middle way?
See the whole as well as each step leading there.
Alas, vision limited by point of view leaves us
willfully alone pushing agendas uphill
oblivious to the waiting support all around.
Uncertainty is the sign of looming adventure
where solid ground is found in experiencing
each newly emerging step.
Wanting to be self-reliant, to confidently
emit a stable foundation from the core,
and shed memory for wisdom.
May no point of view open your heart to the healing help of the universe. Namaste.