You are currently viewing The Microscope of Delusion – Part VI

The Microscope of Delusion – Part VI

Growth seekers become great observers.  We watch and witness without getting enmeshed.  This is not the same as putting people under a microscope.  “Miscroscoping” is a word I’ve made up.  I can tell when someone is microscoping me and I bet you can too!  You may not have thought about it in these terms or thought about it at all.

Microscoping is a trauma response.  We microscope to feel in control.  We put someone under the laser beam lense of our judgmental and superior analytical review.  We don’t just observe and witness.  When we microscope we superimpose our ‘story’ over the actions of others.  Let’s give an example of how this works.

They may say “you look tired today’.  If we have trauma around how we look we may hear they are saying we look “bad”.  So we will superimpose our ‘story’ of being judged over their statement.  What if someone just asked if we were tired because they noticed we seemed a bit low energy?  What if they just saw our eyes looked sleepy?  What if they just took an interest because they care?  What if their question has nothing to do with how we look and we just input data through a trauma filter?  This is not ‘observation’ this is microscoping.

So we didn’t just observe or witness the other person, we microscope them.  We took what they said and superimposed our trauma right over their words.  You can actually feel when people microscope you. You say something and you see a clear reactive response in them.  You may say to a person “you look angry” and they may immediately give you the stink eye. 

Maybe you got the stink eye because people accuse them of being angry when they are not.  Maybe they are deep thinkers or have ‘resting bitch face’.  So your comment just triggered them.  They microscoped you.  You made an innocent comment, in your mind, and they visibly bristled.

So now that we understand the made up word we create when we microscope – how do we correct this?  How do we learn to observe – without the microscope?  How can we learn to witness data that others provide as well as our own output without attaching meaning that stirs us up?

We must learn 3 easy steps.  Witness it.  Notice the trauma overlay thought we have about it.  Then FLIP IT.

Easy example, someone cuts you off in traffic. 

  1. You notice it. 
  2. Then you realize you just thought “what a flaming jerk”.  Then you realize that thought causes a stir within in that is not positive.  You start to think of all the flaming jerks you have to deal with.  Then you start to get pissed off, sad, depressed or whatever your trauma response is – it’s activated!  This may all happen in the span of 10 seconds.  Or maybe you were passed over or ignored as a child.  Your story may be “what a jerk he didn’t even see me”.  Just like my spouse and my boss, I’m even invisible to this guy.  Maybe as a child you were programmed you were not good enough.  So you see this persona and think “here they go thinking they are better than me”…. See how we attach our trauma to their action?
  3. So FLIP IT and it can go like this:

    Maybe they are late and about to be fired.  I remember when I was always late and almost got fired.  Now I’m feeling empathy and thinking “go girl or hurry dude” hope you get there on time.  So we went from ‘microscoping’ to ‘flipping’. 

What is the truth about the person who just cut us off?  We don’t know.  We don’t know if they are a jerk.  We don’t know if they are running late.  We don’t know if they are high.  We don’t know if they are just aggressive.  We have no idea, but when we microscope actions and overlay our story or trauma onto their action we become DELUSIONAL.

Delusional is characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.  Delusion is often based on or having faulty judgment or simply being mistaken.

So we must shift from delusion to observation.  Observation is to simply notice or take note.  We don’t take our trauma story and superimpose it over the person who cut us off.  That’s mental illness and we do this all the time and every day!  We just are not attuned. 

So tune in.  Become the witness.  Tune into those thoughts. Practice how you can flip them!  Ask self “is this story really true that I’m imposing over their actions?” or am I just microscoping?  What is a different thought to have that does not leave me feeling yucky?  How can I flip this thought?

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