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Is it Really Worth 2 Million Dollars?

Number 17A (Jackson Pollock): $200 million

This piece of abstract art is worth 200 million dollars. Do you see it? The hectic spiraling of lines, shapes, colors, and shades all mixed together seamlessly. It’s ‘beautiful chaos’. Do you understand it?

I'm guessing, if you are like me at all, the answer to the above two questions was something like "Hell no! I don't see it; I don't understand it and I wouldn't pay $2.00 for it!" But then, I'm not an artist. Why would I see the value in it? Why would I understand the idea behind it?

So, what's my point?

What does Number 17A have to do with trauma, abuse and recovering from them both? It is my visual representation of the first presupposition of NLP: Respect for the other persons model of the world.

Everyone has two eyes, but no one has the same view.

As we meander through life, we see the world, but we don't see the world as the world is ... we see the world through layer upon layer of filters that we've gathered along the way. My model of the world has been seen through filters of abandonment, abuse, mistrust, and fear. What would that same world look like if I were to remove just one of those filters? Or all of them?

Crazy right!? It's a whole new world (que the music from Aladdin!)!

This idea of respecting another's model of the world was a mind-blowing and life altering concept for me in my journey to heal from my past. By "respect" it is simply meant to "understand and acknowledge" that the other person actually has a different way of seeing the world, and, therefore, will react to it differently than you.

When I understood this, it allowed me to step out of my version of the world and into theirs. It does not mean that I have to accept their version, but I can respect that it exists, which creates a better understanding for me on why they did what they did or do what they do.

Let me give you an example. I was physically, emotionally and verbally abused as a child. I was beaten, slapped around, pushed down and thrown against walls. I was screamed at, threatened and humiliated. And then I was made to feel bad that "I caused him" to treat me that way.

For years into adulthood, I had trouble with the concept of forgiving him. Why should I? He was the monster; he doesn't deserve to be forgiven! And I held onto the hate, anger and pain.

Then, years later, I realized that how he saw the world was different than how I did. I heard stories about his childhood and learned of many horrors of what he had survived, such as his trip to the hospital after his mother repeatedly banged his head into the wall with the final blow landing on a nail.

And then it all became clear.

He didn't know any better. He brought me up the same way he was raised. With a short temper and fits of rage. He didn't know compassion or understanding. He knew to yell and scream and throw punches first and ask questions later.

It was then, when I was able to respect his model of the world, that I was able to forgive him because I saw him differently. I saw him as the same scared child desperate for love that I was. Once I was able to forgive him, I was then able to forgive myself for holding onto the anger I had towards him for so long. What he did was not right, but I can now understand it better. And by understanding his model, it helps be to better shape my own.

Is there someone in your life, past or present, to which you could better understand by applying this principle?

Back to the abstract art. Look at it again knowing that the creator of it saw the world differently. Being curious. Asking yourself "what was he thinking while painting this", "what is he trying to say?" Knowing that the person who invested millions to purchase it saw something you didn't or had experienced something, maybe many 'somethings', you have not. What would cause someone to spend that much money on a painting like that? Was it the painting itself or was it just a status symbol to have it? Or did they idolize the painter? What was their model of the world?

It changes everything.


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