At this stage, it is common to operate in a state of worry. Expecting mothers may have memory loss, irritation, and mood swings, and some even suffer from anxiety and depression. So, it’s easy to listen to the things in our head, i.e., assumptions that aren’t true.
When it comes to our assumptions, sometimes they can be helpful—
assuming someone is friendly, for example, can make social interactions much more manageable. But often, our assumptions lead us astray and cause misunderstandings. This is especially true when it comes to how we communicate with others and ourselves. In his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz discusses practices that can help you avoid assumptions and better communicate with those around you and your inner voice.
There are a few things that occur when we assume. According to Miguel Ruiz, asking questions is better than making assumptions because assumptions set us up for suffering.
Here’s what happens when we assume:
⦁ We blame people and then we react.
⦁ We create misunderstandings.
⦁ We gossip about our assumptions.
⦁ We also make assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.
Don Miguel Ruiz discusses the idea of not making assumptions but instead asking questions to avoid misunderstandings. He states that when we make assumptions, we give away our power and allow others to control us. The mind is tricky and will feed you the wrong information causing a breakdown in how you treat yourself. By practicing this agreement, you can take back your power and be in control of your own life.
Many women express that while pregnant, they receive so much advice from so many different people, and I’m sure this makes them doubt their abilities. Asking questions allows you to acknowledge the other person’s point of view and to understand their perspective better. It is a way of showing respect for the other person and their opinion. When we can open our minds and truly listen to others, we can learn new things and grow as individuals.
This agreement is about being present at the moment and not getting caught up in our assumptions and preconceived ideas. If we can practice this agreement, we can be better versions of ourselves and create a genuinely beautiful pregnancy experience.
Ruiz mentions the importance of strengthening your practice of asking questions and doing this repeatedly because it takes practice to reassess your way of thinking.
A few ways to continually practice include:
⦁ Instead of assuming when you feel curious, ask questions, i.e., tell me more about that; can you share how you came to this conclusion? Find out their perspective first and give the appropriate response.
⦁ If you feel offended by something someone has said or done, take inventory of your feelings. When something bothers you or makes you feel uncomfortable, use the moment to ask clarifying questions about what occurred. If you cannot respond to it immediately, take your time.
⦁ If something is constantly on your mind and you can’t get over it, take the time to figure out what questions to ask to prevent your assumptions.
You mustn’t make assumptions to maintain mental clarity and create a new version of yourself. The intrusive thoughts will come, and you may worry along your journey, which is to be expected with all the nuances of pregnancy. The four agreements can help you with this goal.
However, if you fall too far down a black hole and your thoughts lead to depression or anxiety, it is best to consult your physician or seek mental health support.
Remembering not to make assumptions will allow seeing things as they are instead of how you think they should be. For more information about the other agreements, read our next blog post.
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