When my mouth eventually unfroze following some dental work, I was shocked to discover the underside of my tongue had quite a long nick, and was very sore, making both eating and talking quite difficult.
I immediately felt anger towards my dentist.
I was also curious – had he noticed my tongue was nicked and not told me, or being on the underside of my tongue, perhaps he wasn’t aware of the damage.
I tried phoning the surgery, but they were already closed for the weekend. More frustration; I’d have to wait until Monday.
On Saturday morning a helpful pharmacist told me the damage was superficial, would heal quickly, and my strategy of rinsing with salty water would allay any infection.
Slowly I noticed my thoughts changing over the weekend.
Through my exploration of Three Principles, I have a deeper appreciation that we’re all innocent – we’re all doing the best we can at any time. I’ve known that intellectually for a while, now I was experiencing it at a deeper level. Just one of several intellectual truths that are becoming more ‘real’ as I continue to explore the Three Principles!
This is wonderful; it means I’m off the hook when it comes to blame – no need to blame myself or others for what I experience in my life.
As I re-considered my tongue injury, my thoughts morphed from anger to compassion for my dentist, still spiced with curiosity about his experience of the situation.
This morphing of my thoughts seemed to happen organically as I considered my experience of initial anger from a Three Principles perspective.
My change in perspective also reminded me of two techniques that achieve a similar result: the change in perspective usually experienced with TAT, and also the ‘turnaround’ step of Byron Katie’s The Work.
In a very calm frame of mind I spoke to my dentist on Monday, and we had a good conversation. He’d not been aware of the nick as there had also been some bleeding from my gum, and insisted I go in right away to have my tongue checked out.
A week later my tongue is almost healed, and through my change of perspective, I avoided stressing myself with any ongoing anger!
I wonder how my perspective may change in other situations, like being cut up in traffic, fielding several unsolicited sales calls a day, responding to an angry relative …
I’m loving this Three Principles approach to life!