The Thing About Interpretation

 I see there is an issue with our interpretation, which is not to say that we are right or wrong. In fact, this is not to take a side at all.
All I’m saying is that we interpret information differently. You have your way and I have mine.
You and me, we have our way of doing things. And we have this for a reason. You have your way and I have mine because we come from a different background with a history of different experiences.
We come from different places and we’ve lived different lives. We also have different connections and different stimulation.
A word to me might be just a word, —but to you, that same word might mean something else.

I think there are times we fail to realize this.
In fact, I know I do.
One of the things I am very good at is taking a word and making it mean something else —when in fact, it’s just a misinterpretation.

What I’m saying is because we interpret things differently, we come up with different assumptions. We draw different conclusions and meanwhile, sometimes, we create things in our mind that simply do not exist. I know I do this. I think most people do. This creates fights that never had to happen. this causes arguments that never needed to exist

We have this thing called deductive reasoning:

So . . . if this is this . . .
and if this means that . . .
then when you said this,
you have to mean that . . .

But it’s not always right.
Sometimes, a word will cause us to assume a person’s intention. Sometimes, we assume intention and because we’ve assumed intention, we draw the wrong conclusion.

But where does this come from?
How is it that a word has one main definition but yet, that same word has so many different meanings to different people?

The danger of interpretation is we can hear a word and allow it to dovetail in our mind. This is where our deductive reasoning comes into play.
In our heads, we link our interpretation to our assumptions; and therefore, we assume this means that, when in fact, sometimes, a word is just a word. Sometimes we assume intention. Sometimes our perception creates difficulty. sometimes, our feelings are hurt because of this and sometimes, we react, when in fact, we overreacted because of our interpretation.

This comes from our cognitive thinking, or more basic, this comes from our basic foundational memory and lessons that we learned from a young age. This is where our personal biases live.

One of my biggest fears comes from my childhood fears. I have this fear that I will be alone. I have a fear of being unloved and unwanted. I have a fear of rejection. I’m afraid of emotional pain more than physical pain. At least physical pain heals. Emotional pain however can linger and scar worse than stitches across the face.

I have a fear of being played for a fool. I have a fear of being laughed at and being the punchline to someone’s joke. I have a fear of being publicly humiliated (because it happened to me) and I have a fear of intimacy because at one point, I had to withstand the foolishness of feeling brokenhearted and rejected.

These are all based on childhood experiences. My interpretation of this is seen through the eyes of a kid; however, I am an adult now, but yet, my interpretation is skewed because of old experiences, which have been held by my internal mind.

Allow me to explain:
Years ago, I went to a gun range to learn about bench shooting. Basically, a rifle was set up on a bench. I was taught how to shoulder the rifle. I was told how to place my finger at the trigger, how to squeeze it, and how to place my shot.
I placed my head to allow my eye to see through the scope. I was breathing as instructed and aiming as instructed; however, when I shot, I did not anticipate the power of the rifle.
Therefore, I did not shoulder the rifle as snug as it should have been. And bang. The shot took off. The rifle kicked back. And BAM!!! The scope bashed me right in the face.

It hurt . . .
It hurt a lot . . .

I was shown my mistake and I knew that I had learned from this.
But each time I shouldered and went to take another shot; my body flinched because it remembered the pain.
This distorted my aim and altered the direction of my shot. Until I learned how to let go of this experience, I was unable to fire an accurate shot at my target.

I’ll do one more:
When I was about 12 years old, I wanted to play basketball.
I was small. To be honest, I never played before.
I had no idea what the rules were. But I thought this would be fun. I knew the object of the game. I knew that a team sport was a team sport. This meant it was a competition. This meant there would be a winning team and a losing team.

I believed the idea of playing a game was to have fun, which it is, but in competitive sports, sometimes winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.

All the kids on the team knew each other. But not me. I was the odd man out. I was the smallest on the team. I was mainly uncoordinated. I had no strength. All I had was the desire to play and have fun.
And I was excited (at first.)

I remember my first practice. We lined up to take layups. This was the first thing we did on the first day.
I was at the end of the line, but I was excited. I could dribble the ball. Not too well, but still, I could dribble the ball well enough.
I could shoot, but I never did a layup before. I saw other people do this and figured, if they can do it then so can I.

One by one, my turn came closer.
And then it was me and the ball.
It was my turn.
And there I was.
I was this excited little 12 year-old boy, happy to have the chance to play basketball.
And I ran. And I dribbled.
And I approached the basket.
And I jumped. And I shot.
But apparently, I shot too late and my aim was off. I shot the ball up but it hit the bottom of the backboard, causing the ball to rebound back and BAM!! it smashed me right in the face.

This hurt
it hurt a lot

But what hurt me worse is the laughter that screamed from everyone else on the team. Beaten and defeated, I went back to the end of the line to try it again. But every time I went to take a shot, I was afraid of the outcome because the math in my head suggested, “What if something like that happens again?”

The danger of interpretation is that we often link our deductive reasoning to things from our past, which we assume is law. But it isn’t.
Sometimes, we make the wrong assumptions. We come to the wrong conclusions because we do the wrong math in our head.

Same as I cannot and will not be gun shy; I will not and cannot be afraid to play or take a shot simply because of something that happened to me before in my life.

Truth is that will never happen again.
The trick is allowing my mind to let go of its past.
This way I can be free to enjoy myself without worrying about the pains that might come my way. , , .


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