Friday, July 13, 2018

The Problem With Assumptions Is

This morning I got my August copy of the Science of Mind magazine. Because I had been asked for, and submitted  a column, I opened it excitedly, to see what my article looked like in print! I wonder if every contributor does the same thing. I  was shocked to find one of my older columns instead of the one I had submitted in May.

My first response was anger. How could they have done something like this to me? Why didn't they do the courtesy of letting me know that they had something else in mind? Maybe they didn't like what I had written. I was feeling very self-righteous and justified in my anger.  I quickly decided that if this was their response, I would not put myself through this again. I would just say no, next time. I began feeling resentful. (It was definitely NOT my spiritual best!) I remembered that I had shared the piece with my marketing and public relations expert. She had liked it! More anger!

I think the feeling of resentment was the turning point. "Feeling resentful is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die!"

I shifted gears. I decided to  contact  directly the editor of the magazine and inquire about what had happened.

In all honesty, my letter began in the same tone of self-righteous indignation as I had been feeling, but as I was composing, I realized that an inquiry would be best. I kept re-writing until it felt clear and less accusatory. I wanted to find out what had happened. Now I have moved out of anger and self-righteousness and into curiosity and willingness to hear feedback And I am breathing again.

The first response that came from the creative director was that she had never received my column. She went on to say that she had made the assumption that I was too busy to do it and now that it was past her deadline she didn't want to pressure me about it.

Then she did an internal search of her email and my original email to her did not appear. It is probably still in my outbox or stuck in cyber space somewhere.

The following lovely words of appreciation from Holli Sharp, Associate Editor and Creative Director of the Science of Mind Magazine say it all:
"I always love your work and wisdom, Dr. Heather, and my gut dropped when I saw your email this afternoon because I thought I had disappointed you. :-)
My intention is always to honor you, and thank you for understanding.
It’s always a bright spot for me when I get to communicate with you, and we love your voice in the magazine."
Imagine what kind of response I would have had if I had written from anger and resentment! It would have caused a big rift in our relationship. Spiritual maturity finally prevailed and I am so happy it did. I am very grateful for all the staff at our home office. I am grateful for all the issues that they handle every day. I am so grateful that I communicated with Holli, and that I had enough sense to do it respectfully.

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