Take a Compass Reading

Welcome back

Welcome back.  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Here in the northeast US we had tropical storm Hanna move through on Saturday.  That was a warm and humid day that eventually begat a lot of rain and wind.  Fortunately there was limited damage in this area.  Sunday was a great day with lots of sunshine and comfortable temperatures.


We ended last week with a look at my compass.  Today we will take a closer look at how to take a reading with my compass.  Are you ready?  Let’s go!


How to read the compass

On Friday we talked about a tool that I call my compass.  The compass has guided me through many confused situations over the years.


To quickly review, the compass is based on the concept that the reason we exist is to learn and grow and to share that learning with each other.  The only rule is that we do not interfere with the free will of another individual because that keeps them from being able to learn and grow in the ways that they choose.


When I take a reading with the compass I am looking for understanding within a situation.  The readings usually happen when I come across a situation that appears to be confusing.  Sometimes I look to the compass to help me see how the learning of the individuals in the situation is being supported.  At other times I look to the compass to see when the free will of individuals is being repressed.  Understanding these points helps me to more clearly evaluate the situation.


On Friday I showed how I have used the compass to help understand a political situation.  Today we will look at a more personal situation.  Let’s take a look at how to use the compass to help understand a personal relationship.


Reading a relationship

Many of us have been in less than healthy relationships.  We might have been able to see that the relationship was not healthy while we were in it.  Often we could not see why the relationship was not healthy.  Taking a reading on our compass might help us to understand the situation.


Many of us have been in relationships where one individual was exhibiting controlling behavior.  That individual might have even been us.  Let’s look at one example a possibly controlling behavior.


Suppose that one spouse does not want the other spouse to work.  The one spouse makes enough money that the other spouse does not need to work.  (I recognize that in the current economy both spouses usually have to work, but let’s go along with the example for now.)  There could be a variety of reasons for the one spouse to demand the other does not work.  There could also be a number of reasons for the other spouse to work anyway.


If we are the spouse that wants to work and we want some guidance regarding the situation, we pull out our compass.  We look first at the aspect of learning and growth.  Do we want to work because we want to further our learning and growth?  If so we make note of that and continue to take the next part of the reading.


If we want to work only to get out of the house then it is probably not that important to our learning and growth.  We make note of that and move on to the next part of the reading.


Now we look at the second factor.  Is someone interfering with the free will of an individual?  This can get tricky to understand.  Many times when someone is interfering with the free will of another they do not realize it.  Also, we can be ultrasensitive when we think someone is interfering with our free will.  We need to be as objective as possible when we take this part of the reading.


Let’s say we think that our spouse is interfering with our free will by arbitrarily telling us not to work.  This is a very serious situation and requires more analysis.


What we should do in this situation is to look at their behavior in other situations.  We need to find out if our spouse has a habit of controlling other individuals to take away their free will, or are they just doing it in this situation.  If they do not have a habit of taking away free will, then we address just this instance.  If they have a habit of controlling people then that has implications on our entire relationship with this individual.


Taking a reading does not mean taking action

It is important to understand that we do not always have to take action after we have taken a compass reading.  In our society we are so accustomed to taking action that we have almost lost the skill of reflection.  We think that if we see something that we must act immediately.


In this case I urge that when we take a compass reading that we do nothing other than to think about the situation.  The compass is best used for large decisions that should be approached carefully and with much thought.


Look at this way – the compass tells us the course that we need to steer.  Once we know where we need to go we should reserve some time to determine how to get there.  In the current example that would mean not reacting as soon as we have taken our compass reading.


Let’s say that we have found that we want to go back to work because we want to continue our learning and growth.  We have also found that our spouse does not have a habit of controlling others, but for some reason is acting in a controlling manner in this situation.


These two factors should make up the basis of a discussion between us and our spouse.  That discussion may take several months and many conversations to resolve the situation.  Our spouse may not see that they are being controlling.  It may take a few discussions for them to see that they are keeping us from learning and growing.  In the end, if they really care for us they will help us with our learning and growing.


I cannot stress the importance of thinking about the results of our compass reading before we take action.  Many times an immediate and reflexive action is false self behavior.  If you are a regular reader of this site you will know how damaging that can be.


That’s all for today.


Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.



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