Ever had an exchange with someone over email or text where you completely misunderstood what was meant? What is on paper loses something in translation and emoji and emoticons can’t quite make up for the emotional content which makes the intent and possibly the whole meaning mysterious and up to interpretation. Sometimes this has hilarious results, but often times it causes friction. *sigh*

Verbally AbusiveThis can happen without electronics and does frequently. It’s a staple of people who want to manipulate others. The words used mean one thing and if you wrote down everything that was said verbatim it would look as innocent and well-meaning at they are trying to say they were. But if you add in the body language, the tone, the look, the actions, these all change the meaning. “I love you” is an expression of relationship and well-meaning and indicates vulnerability in general, but if the person saying it is holding a knife to your neck it takes on a completely different aspect and turns the meaning on its head. If written down, this looks like the person is expressing affection. It looks good on paper…

We also have the ability to do this kind of thing to ourselves. I remember once when I was in my early 20’s I had the grand idea of doing a workout twice as hard for half the time and thought I would get just as much if not more benefit from it and be a wunderkind. My older sister just shook her head. I mean, on paper it looked like I had done the workout and gotten the benefit. In reality I had cheated myself of most of the benefit and wasted time trying to figure out why it didn’t work and why I wasn’t getting kudos. LOL We can go through the motions of doing something like taking a moral inventory, cleaning up our closets, trying to make ourselves ready for that next thing we need to be doing, but if we’re just going through the motions, not actually experiencing the process, being in it, getting our hands dirty, then it looks good on paper but doesn’t give us the benefit of the actual work.

Just because you’ve done something, taken a yoga class, had a healing, tried Karate, gone skating, Feng Suied your house, etc., doesn’t mean you’ve actually done it. It looks good on paper, but until you’ve gotten out of your head, invested yourself in the actual doing of it more than once, more than just for the surface experience of putting a check mark next to the task, you haven’t really done anything except go through the motions. So stop with the catalog of things you’ve done, get out of your head and go do these things without worrying about the outcome or the benefit or the meaning or the big picture. The big picture will take care of itself. It’s time you started taking care of you.