I received an E-mail today that I responded to, quickly and efficiently, the answer that came to me as the correct answer to the E-mail. And having such great friends and business partners, one of my friends, who knows me well, saw my response and in essence, wrote back, “Who said that?” Those were not his exact words, but that is the meaning I had gotten out of his words. Him, knowing how I feel about certain things, I suppose he was surprised by my answer that seemed contrary to my current stand on the issue in question.
The obvious answer I would give to the question, “Who said that?” is, “I did.” It’s not as if someone has taken over my E-mail account and has started answering my E-mails for me. And it is not as if someone has taken over my body or my mind and been answering E-mails that are out of character for me. Or is it?
Maybe no one or nothing has taken over my mind, but what if my mind has already been preprogrammed with some information that takes over automatically when triggered and bypasses my current stand, understanding, or ways of being? The issue or question posed by the original E-mail that I received was one that I currently have a desire to explore and learn about, yet my “automatic,” quick response was one of disinterest at the present time. Hmmm. Why would I answer, without thinking, as if I was disinterested or was against exploring it?
When my friend shot the E-mail back to me and wrote, “Who said that?” having been made to look at it, I was shocked as to what the true answer was. The answer was, my Father. It’s not that the spirit of my Father, who has long been gone, answered for me, but rather, I believe, that his answer to this same question, since it came up in our lives when I was a child, was so strong and his belief so unwavering that my response was almost Pavlovian.
Every time this topic, question or issue would come up, my Father would have the same response. So every time I would hear question “A,” the answer from my Father would be automatically, “B.” So, today, when I was asked question “A” in an E-mail, I automatically responded with “B,” even though I don’t agree with “B” any longer. Scary stuff, right?
It’s interesting how not only am I questioning myself and how many other “automatic” responses I have that bypass my current beliefs or understandings, but whether or not my Father was doing the same thing? I wonder if his belief in “B” was something he believed in, or if he was programmed, either by his Father or Mother, School, Society, Culture, Religion, Government… at the time, and never stopped to think, or had a friend stop him and make him look back at his decision or stand or answers or actions…
And if not “programmed,” I wonder whether my Father would answer with “B” when confronted with “A” because of his personal experiences, fears, ignorance, etc. If my Father were still around, I don’t know if he would be open to my questioning him about this or any of his decisions, answers, comments, beliefs, etc., at this point. But what I do know, is that I am grateful that I have those in my life that care enough about me to stop me and say, “Who said that?” so I can learn how to “speak for myself,” from now on!