How and What do you Really Know?

How and What do you Really Know?

How do you know what you know in life? What’s your criterion for saying something is TRUE? (Is it – I heard a teacher say it last week; my mother or father told me when I was a child; I read it in the newspaper?)

Even if you SEE it with your own eyes, you can’t call it TRUE. We only see 1% when the other 99% is the REAL world. And depending on our personality, we even SEE things differently. Some see details; others see the big picture. We can’t trust what we SEE to tell us what is real. With that in mind, I invite you to question when you say I KNOW it.

Most of us when describing what we see ADD to it and make up a STORY about what we are seeing.

All you can tell of what you see – what’s actually happening is what a video camera would see.   It can’t see mad, glad, sad or any of the other emotions, When you see someone frowning, for example, it could be because the sun is in his or her eyes.

When we are younger, we learn to make assumptions because we think we always have to have an answer – and not just ANY answer – but the RIGHT answer! Think about our grading system in schools. What happened when you were asked a question? If you didn’t know the answer, you made yourself wrong for NOT KNOWING and sometimes you learned to make up something rather than to say I DON’T KNOW. And the real problem is that after you’ve made something up, you began to believe it was true.

I believe that saying I don’t know and recognizing that all of our life has been made from our own slanted perception is one of the gifts of the conscious aging process. Part of what it means to age consciously is developing the skill to be a critical thinker and to question all assumptions. I know I have found this to be true in my own life and in the many clients I’ve had the privilege to support over the years.

As I age, I’ve learned to give up two important things-the need to be right – and the need to be in control — both of those are illusions anyway.

Did you ever find yourself arguing for something that you didn’t even know was true? I’ve personally worked on this one. When I had that immediate feeling that someone else just said something I didn’t agree with, my younger reaction had been to set them straight – to let them KNOW the TRUTH. I used to call it my TEACHER persona. I’ve learned over the years to let this go.

I’ve really practiced listening. Here’s what you can do too. When someone says something you disagree with – take on the attitude, that’s interesting – and REALLY try to hear why they think they are thinking rather than ASSUMING you know what they are thinking.

Don’t ever assume you understand another human being – or know why he or she is doing what they are doing. We have so many assumptions that we make about Life and about ourselves that we take for granted. It’s our way of BEING in CONTROL.

We all have a set code of ethics that we live by – What’s important to you in life?

Make a list – you’ll be amazed at your values and how you come by why you do what you do. But, be careful –when you discover your list – that’s what your ASSUMPTIONS are based on – what YOU think is important… I guarantee that if you try to do that list for your spouse, your partner, your best friend – you will probably be wrong most of the time…

Often when working with couples who are looking to get married, I often like them to do a values list — What’s important to you in a relationship? Prioritize – if the top three aren’t alike, I have some serious doubts that that relationship will work. We all make assumptions all the time. Nothing wrong with making assumptions – we just ought to know what they are – and be willing to challenge them in order to grow if they aren’t serving us well.

We live our lives on our assumptions and they get us into trouble when we remain unaware of them – Eg. 2 When you ASSUME you don’t know something _

The Universe will do everything to support your NOT KNOWING – (The same law works on the negative assumptions) “I don’t know how to __,

I bet you have years of PROOF to back that up –

That’s what happens _ we make an ASSUMPTION

And then we BELIEVE it and whatever we believe is true, actually becomes – not really TRUE but, it does become our EXPERIENCE _ until we wake up and realize that It Isn’t Necessarily So!!!

Assumptions are all pervasive – so pervasive that we don’t know we’re even making them… so, how do you even begin to WATCH YOUR ASSUMPTIONS…

Whenever you get UPSET, behind the UPSET is usually a FEAR – and a NEED TO BE RIGHT and IN CONTROL… Catch yourself whenever you get angry, annoyed or agitated (whatever word you use!) – and ask yourself – what NEED is active here – the Need to be Right – or to be In control…

Could you let it go? Would you let it go? WHEN?

Then, stop and ASK what assumptions am I making? Recognize that we only see and hear what we want to see and hear. Our minds don’t like not understanding something, So we make an assumption about the meaning.

Becoming free of the need to be right and the need to be in control can be one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever give yourself. I highly recommend it!


Dr. Toni LaMotta is a spiritual teacher and best-selling author who specializes in helping people in midlife and beyond to get clear and to age consciously. You can find more of her work at or more about conscious aging at


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