CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- How many times a day do you find yourself disagreeing with someone?
Maybe it's the other political party or comments from your co-workers. It could be something you read in the newspaper or on the Internet. Or heard on the television or radio.
I may be going out on a limb here. Unless you're Pollyanna, I doubt you always agree with your friends and relatives either.
This is not to say you don't have your facts right. Even if you do, that doesn't mean your viewpoint is always right. It depends on the perspective. Especially when the issues involve such weighty topics as immigration and health care, on the global front; or child rearing, money management and caring for elderly parents, on the personal front.
Of course, it always seems to us as if our viewpoint is right. And the other viewpoint, regardless of who holds it, is wrong.
Author Morty Lefkoe explains that no viewpoint is ever "the truth" because a point of view is a belief. And no belief is ever the truth. Viewpoints are always interpretations of events, and they're colored by the meaning we give to those events. The events themselves have no inherent meaning.
In the counseling field, we see this played out time and time again. For example, your parents probably did not allow you to make important decisions about your life as a child. It was their way of protecting you.
As you matured, you began to make more of these decisions yourself. However, if you attached a belief of "I'm powerless" to those events in your earlier childhood -- and it carried over into adulthood -- it could be affecting your adult life in more ways than you know.
If you find yourself stuck in some old belief patterns, it's healthy to drill down and look at the source of some of those beliefs. When did you first attach a certain meaning -- such as the "I'm powerless" belief in the earlier example -- to an event in your life? And how long have you been carrying it around?
Maybe it's time to release a particular belief and start to make some different distinctions. There are a number of ways to release emotional blocks, and you may find it beneficial to research some of these. The Emotional Freedom Technique and the Lefkoe Method are two that come to mind.
Back to our viewpoints -- there's good news and bad news. Various points of view are just different ways of interpreting a series of events, none of which are "the truth." The bad news is that your viewpoint is never "the truth." The good news is that the other person's point of view isn't "the truth" either.
Before you overreact to these statements, remember that I'm talking about a point of view -- not a set of facts. We all have filters through which we view the world around us. Healthy debate -- if you're open to it -- can open your mind to other points of view. We get so hung up on our own viewpoint, though, that it's often hard to consider another way of viewing the same situation.
And then there's the tone that is used to communicate various viewpoints. One person may gently put forth a comment for discussion. More often than not, though, our viewpoints come spewing out in the heat of the moment -- to make a point.