Being Mindful And Patient!

Being Mindful And Patient!

It happened again. I am hoping that writing about it will assist me in learning a lesson and stop! You too have probably done it as well, perhaps more times than you care to remember. The “it” is making assumptions that lead to conclusions that may not be accurate.  Sometimes what follows next are actions taken that could have no benign or major consequences. 

It is human nature to want to explain and make sense of situations in our lives. We need to have clear explanations to have good communication. We need to listen attentively to interpret accurately and not create false assumptions.

Here is my mundane story that was a wakeup call reminding me to pay more attention and not make assumptions. This situation had no outward consequences but points out how I misunderstood the situation. When drawing a conclusion, accurate interpretation needs to be examined for truth and accuracy.

Calling Lina Is Tricky

This is what happened. A few weeks ago, I telephoned Lina, my friend and former neighbor. A trip had been planned, and I would be visiting a friend right up the street from her. Not wanting to show up on her doorstep unannounced, I telephoned her to tell her that soon we would be sitting in her kitchen drinking coffee and eating Mexican food.  Often, talking with Lina on the telephone can be a little difficult. Her native language is Spanish, and she speaks little English. I speak no Spanish.  Fortunately, Lina is seldom alone in her home when I call her, and there often is someone who speaks Spanish and English to help interpret.

The day, I telephoned Lina. She did not answer, and I left a voice message. When I did not hear back, I called a few days later.  This time, she answered the telephone.  “I am coming to see you soon” I told her.  “No come now.  I call you.”  She sounded stressed and continued speaking in Spanish.  The only word that sound ed familiar was something that sounded like “virus.” Oh no, did she have Covid?  Before I could ask, Lina continued speaking in Spanish.  Not wanting to keep her on the phone long, I said “Lina, feel better soon.”  Lina said “God bless you” and we both hung up.

My story unfolded with events and concluded with inaccurate and unchecked interpretations. I called her niece Nellie’s cell phone and thought that I heard someone pick up the phone and hang up. That was strange.  I called again and the same thing happened.  Nellie and I have had many good telephone conversations and have shared many good times eating tacos and drinking coffee at Lina’s house. I assumed that Nellie didn’t want to talk with me and wondered why.  I felt confused and a little hurt.

“Yes. You Can’t Come Here.”

A few days before my trip departure date, Nellie called me.  She said “You talked with my aunt.  “Yes”, I responded, and I asked if Lina had Covid. Nellie said matter-of-factly said “Yes.  You can’t come here and visit.”   She went on to answer my questions about how sick Lina was, and told me that she and her parents, who often visit Lina, were not sick. We talked a few minutes longer and ended the conversation with a friendly goodbye.

After I hung up from that friendly call with Nellie, I understood that nothing was wrong between us. I realized that I made some assumptions and came to inaccurate conclusions.  The entire story in my head was fabricated.  Attempting to reduce the unpleasant feeling of not knowing, I invented my story.  My mind filled in the blanks without considering the following possibilities. Was it possible that Nellie had been having cell phone problems? (It was not unusual for people living on that street to have problems both calling and receiving calls.)  Maybe she was busy taking care of Lina, and she did not have time to talk.

What I Commit To Doing Differently

This was a good reminder not to allow my doubts and assumptions lead to incorrect conclusions.  I plan to slow down and check my uncertainly and doubts against the reality of any situation by waiting until additional information comes through or asking questions before I make unfounded conclusions. 

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