The original draft of this post started on November 9th, 2014; here we are on February 3rd, 2015 and everything about it is changed.
Learning about yourself can be a very loaded experience. On the one hand, it is exciting because you are able to draw connections between your intentions, beliefs, attitudes and actions. On the other hand, as I've said before, you have to take responsibility for the not so hot parts of you. With knowledge and understanding comes expectation; ignorance is bliss because the lack of understanding more or less causes (and creates acceptance for) stagnation.
In learning more about myself, I have also gained a heightened awareness of those around me. This specific awareness revolves around the idea of "processing". It has been brought to my attention that my mode of processing events and information is unlike that of one of my fellowmen, and before the thought to implement any type of plan arose, this created dissonance. Our methods of processing the occurrences of life are divergent and thus, we tend to interpret some of the same instances very differently.
I believe that at different times in our lives, with different things, we all process information either centrally or peripherally; we can do both at separate times but it must be either or at any given time. When using central processing, a person is more deliberate and thoughtful and usually, due to the high levels of energy exerted for this level of processing, forms attitudes that are lasting, and accurately predictive of behavior. When using peripheral processing, a person is more impulsive and mechanical and usually, due to the low levels of energy exerted for this level of processing, forms attitudes that are transient and less accurately predictive of behavior.
It took me a very long time to be able to understand how my fellow man processes information, because it is not the way that I do. However, I believe that there is a dialectical opposition in our methods, and not only are these two processing methods unable to exist without each other, but we can even find unity in the duality.
I have attempted to consider things from the point of view of my fellow man, and I have learned (to an extent) why communication about certain concepts is so difficult. In order to get to this place I had to realize that my way is not the only way. My way is also not superior, nor is my way "correct". My way is an option, and the way of my fellow man is also an option. We both operate and process things in different (and in our cases, opposing) ways, but in order to move forward and grow, we must acknowledge that our current methods are the fruit of our socialization.
It can be difficult to be close to people when opposition is ever-present, and we can begin to believe that the person is wrong, or not as adept as we are, but that is simply not true. Learning about yourself and unpacking the things that you carry with you daily is a vital step in being able to communicate and interact with others.
Due to conversations with my fellow man, I began to think about who I am and how I operate and how it differs between the two of us. I learned that even if a method completely opposes my own beliefs and practices, it can still be valid and functional for someone else. I process these certain themes and ideas peripherally, whereas my fellow man processes centrally; I must take this new found information and remain balanced and unbiased in my response.
Dissecting oneself is not easy, nor is it always fun, but I learned a valuable lesson in doing so.
Grace and Peace,