Today is another scorching, hot day. I know many of you reading this are experiencing the same. I come from the south. In my hometown of Monroe, Louisiana the normal high temperature is 95 for several summer months with high humidity as an accompaniment. You would think I would have grown used to this and just love summer weather. Nope. I have an aversion that is quite emphatic.
I was sitting with my dislike of hot weather and wondering how it impacts me. For starters, it creates a bit of separation with my wife. She loves hot weather. In fact, while I write this piece in the cool of my office, she’s outside in the 90+ afternoon smiling as she clips the grass. This is on the tail end of putting in 3 hours in the 1/2 acre garden today.
So how is it that she has this love of heat and I don’t. I know that the simple answer is, it comes from our beliefs. I believe that hot/ humid weather is uncomfortable, stifling, clammy (I can fill the page with adjectives and adverbs). I remember as a child feeling unhappy when it was warm and muggy. We didn’t have air conditioning until I was well into high school and I detested having to sleep in a puddle of sweat. Yet, all this is my response to the external world, rather than some absolute truth.
If hot and humid weather produced misery in everyone, then my wife would feel just like me. For her, the heat is a source of growth for the garden. She feels alive and stimulated on these hot summer days. She hums while I grin and bear it.
There is something simply astounding about my situation. Beliefs come from so many places that, often, we don’t even know we have them. Sometimes, the only sign of a belief is an opinion that comes with it. Such as I like this or dislike that, or this is good and that is bad. This opinion often arises to bolster my beliefs.
Today, I’m looking at my beliefs about heat. Probably a good idea, considering it’s likely going to get hotter here on planet Earth. More fundamentally, I’m reminded once again of the power of beliefs. WIth heat and humidity, my mood can quickly become glum and my physical stamina depleted. These reactions are coming not from some discernment of what I’m experiencing, but from my conditioned responses that are reinforced over many years.
As with my wife and I, the only difference between each of us is what we believe. When we start remembering that, and drop the need to be right about our beliefs, we open the door for authentic relationships. We don’t need to absolutely agree with each other, but to respect each persons right to their beliefs.
As you start your week, you may want to look around and see where you have different beliefs than someone you are close to. Practice not judging their beliefs as wrong or bad or inferior. Then, see, what this little change does to your relationship.