"What are you making it mean?"
Sounds like a simple question. What I'm referring to are the meanings you link to experiences and events in your life that you use to define who you are or are not; who others are or are not; and what the world is or is not.
Meanings involve what you're capable or incapable of and what possibilities or improbabilities lie before you. Meanings interweave with your beliefs and expectations.
So how bound are you to those meanings?
When someone says something to you in that tone of voice - what do you make it mean about you, or about them? You might make it mean you did something wrong, they're an idiot, they're in a bad mood, or that you're responsible for how they feel.
When you get (or don't get) something you want - what do you make it mean? You might make it mean that it's your doing, or someone else's. Maybe it's just luck, random, coincidence or that this one-time or every time things go your way? Or maybe it's that things don't ever go your way (or rarely do) and that it's someone else's fault you didn't get what you want?
When your guy or your gal forgets an important date, doesn't listen, neglects to do something you asked, or doesn't "put out" - what do you make it mean?
When you're late (sometimes or always) for an appointment or a date - what do you make it mean? You're never on-time, there's never enough time, you're irresponsible or that there were uncontrollable circumstances like a herd of cattle crossing the street that made you late?
When you make a meal that others don't like or when you do (or say) something that they don't approve of - what do you make it mean? You're not a good cook? The ones eating the meal are entitled and unappreciative? They're wrong and you're misunderstood?
When you don't (or do) get praise, acknowledgement, or approval from others - what do you make it mean? You're not worthy/worthy of love? Worthy of it and demand it? Maybe you interpret that you must be meeting someone's standards, therefore good enough to receive praise? You're special or not? You're forgettable?
When you're left with no money in your account (or with less than you want) - what are you making that mean? About the economy, the President, or yourself?
What about if you're just starting out in business and you're floundering, or if what you're doing isn't working? What are you making that mean?
Meanings are important.
They can uplift and inspire you or they can deflate and crush you. And you're making them all up.
You have opportunities every day to fabricate meanings. You have your auto-default-go-to-meanings and you make up countless new meanings along the way. Do you ever consciously ask yourself if the meanings you're making up feel good to you or if they feel bad to you?
What I'm really saying is, "You're making sh*t up all the time." Even if what you've made it mean is based on "fact" or "truth", the Truth is - you get what you think about. You get what you expect. As you define yourself to be, so shall you be. How you define others to be, so shall they be.
So why not make sh*t up that feels good to you and empowers you?
While it may be true that your friend is inconsiderate and lacks couth, you don't always get what you want, your guy or gal may be forgetful, you're mostly late, you're cooking may suck, and you don't yet know what you're doing in your business - the way you interpret those things either enhances your quality of life or diminishes it - and what you keep talking about and noticing will maintain the status quo.
What you make up and what you make it mean will keep happening.
You are who you define yourself to be.
You are the stories that you tell.
Your life is the story that you tell about it.
If what you're making it mean doesn't feel good, can you find a different interpretation, understanding or perspective?
Your story (what you make up) now, is what pre-paves more to come.
You can interpret your experiences in ways that feel good or in ways that feel bad. You can put it into a context or frame that feels better to you than worse to you.
You have the freedom to assign any meaning to any-thing. Why not choose meanings that uplift you and gives others the benefit of the doubt rather than criticize yourself or others - not because they deserve it but because you deserve to feel good.
You're worth taking the time to ask yourself, "What am I making this mean and can I interpret this in a way that feels good (or better) to me?"