Friday, June 22, 2012

P4E.242 Straight Line Thinking - 4 of 4

Pat Parelli, the natural horseman, says that the fourth obstacle that hinders the relationship between humans and horses is "straight line thinking." I have previously written about this subject here: Straight Line Thinker. In human horse relationships it comes down to this; horses are prey animals and perceive humans as predators. Predators engage in straight line thinking. With SLT, there is no subtlety. There is no nuance. There are no shades of gray. There is no wavering. No softness. No gentleness. Instead, there is directness. There is singular focus. There is black and white. There's rigidity and harshness and confrontation.

Sometimes, stereotypes exist because they are true. They can be helpful if we use them for good. Straight line thinking does a husband little good in his communication with his wife, because women are not typically straight line thinkers. SLT causes husbands to be abrupt. It causes us to move too quickly for our wife's comfort. SLT is what makes us men singularly focused while our wives are typically multi-taskers. This singular focus has caused me to be inflexible. I have found it very difficult, first of all, to have a Plan B and secondly to switch to it, when Plan A has been foiled.

We men are comfortable with "if-then" propositions. Our mechanical minds immediately want to "fix" problems. We find it difficult to understand the complexities of relationships. We'd prefer to interact with things like televisions and computers and cars. Golf intrigues us because we truly believe that we CAN figure it out. We can study it. Practice it. Play it and conquer it. These things appeal to our SLT.

Our wives, on the other hand, are a mystery to us. We have difficulty reading between the lines of the stories that they try to tell us. We don't have the patience to wade through all of the information that they try to impart to us. We wonder, is she playing games with me? Why can't she just be "straight" with me? How can she talk so much and not say anything? How come she seems so irrational, at times?

Yet, deep down, we know that they understand our children better than we do. They understand all relationships better than we do. They have the so called "sixth sense." Sometimes we ask them, "How do you know that?" and they answer "I just do." They call it "women's intuition." This is because our wives are simply more spiritually and emotionally aware than we are. Our SLT increases our rationality but, thwarts our spirituality and our ability to identify, understand and respond to our own spirits and the spirits of our wives.

But, if I want to understand my wife better, if I want to communicate better with her, I need to understand that my straight line thinking hinders me. I must slow down, be more gentle, more flexible and not be so direct. I need to develop more patience, be more forgiving and try to learn something from my wife. I need to try to understand my own spirit and my own emotions better so that I can understand hers better.

Put simply, I need to be more Christlike. Jesus was not your typical straight line thinker. As an example, sometimes people would ask Him a question and He would respond by asking another question or telling a story. I need to be more like Him. God, please help me to be!

No comments:

Post a Comment