The Trouble With Linear Thinking

2014-02-26 06.35.23

Linear thinking is defined as a process of thought following known cycles or step-by-step progression where a response to a step must be elicited before another step is taken.  It is a highly focused way of living whereby one continues to stick to their own path without turning around to evaluate spherically how their actions, inactions and words affect others.

I applaud those who are so focused, but I believe that it also stunts growth potential when we simply live linearly and do not stop to turn around and see the world around us even for a few moments.  Living in this way, allows us to move blithely through life with blinders on, unaware of what is going on around us.  It disconnects us from ourselves and others during our lifetime.  I imagine it is not an easy way to live (or perhaps it is), but I see it as a very solitary way of living.

I am a spherical thinker for the most part.  For me, my kindness and compassion radar is tuned in to those around me.  Even when angry, I can see the other point of view and many times, I find myself feeling compassionate towards the one who has evoked the anger within me.  I can ‘see’ how this person is hurting and feels out of control and in order to gain control, must retaliate in this fashion.  I can forgive because I look outside myself to view their grief and hurting.  It is my choice to do so and one which I choose many times even when I’d prefer to not see the entire picture and only view it from my side of the fence.

It is frustrating to have linear thinking folks in my life who border on narcissism.  It is most likely frustrating for them as well to have me there, intently trying to get them to turn around occasionally to see more of what life is offering, to connect with those who love them and to connect with themselves on a deeper level.  To feel again is a difficult task for those who have disconnected for whatever reason.  They strive to look away, to remain focused on the task ahead and to cement those blinders on so that they do not have to see what they are avoiding.  It becomes a stall tactic which holds them motionless while the world around them moves on without them.

For those of us who wish for communication outside the nothing box, it is an uphill climb to constantly reach out and try to penetrate the walls of their stoic thinking.  We can occasionally catch glimpses of the heart light inside of loved ones, but almost as quickly as the twinkle is revealed, the light is hidden again, the door is shut, locked tight and darkness remains.  It is in the darkness that the nothing box dwells and in there, the light of life is forbidden its sparkle.

Who holds the key to the door of life?  Why you do!  But many people are afraid of moving out of their comfort zones to feel what they hide, to experience more deeply the suffering which they keep safely hidden away from others.  Many times they hoard those dark feelings and experiences in fear.  It is hard to open up and to look at ourselves and others in a different light.  It may be easier to remain amidst the dark depression of the nothing box.  This way we don’t have to deal with the consequences of our own actions, inactions and words.  We can simply pretend to make it all about others and not ourselves.

Those of us who can see those heart lights shimmer even for a moment know that these folks are hurting and we can see the potentiality to flourish in them.  So we wait, trying to lure them out of their linear thinking, to turn them around even for a few moments so that they can see the healthy, healing love that life has to offer.  We can offer them unconditional love which they have always had, but it is up to them to accept it.  It is a choice that is theirs alone to make.

Take my hand.  I have known depression, but as a friend once told me, ‘when you think you are going through hell, keep going’ which is a rendition of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill.  So let’s keep going…together. ♥

 Shine On!


21 thoughts on “The Trouble With Linear Thinking

  1. This is great Yvonne, and so true! I, like you, am a spherical thinker while my husband is a linear thinker (something I tell him all the time!) An easy example is, If he begins a thought, a joke, a story…whatever it is…and someone tells him they’ve heard it before, or he’s told them already, etc. he cannot just ‘stop’ and change course. There is something in his brain the demands he continue to the end of that straight line of thought. It’s annoying to someone like me.

    I’m going to show him this post when I get home because I think he thinks I am ‘making up’ the idea of linear thinking. He is not a narcissist, by any stretch, but I can say, with love of course, that he does hold a very high opinion of (his opinions) himself, which he insists is just having the confidence to know one’s self worth. I laugh at that, of course, as I can recognize conceit with the best of them…but I do know (even if he doesn’t) and feel, and see, that there is a defensive shield surrounding that ‘confidence’ that was born from a childhood of pain he had to overcome (and over compensate for?) in his determination to make more of himself than others thought he would.

    In other words…I believe his linear way of thinking is a direct result of his putting blinders on, staying on the path, focusing on, a day when he can no longer see or hear, the ghosts behind or beside him. I’ve tried to share with him that sometimes, jumping off the path, going a bit sideways, is a good way to elude the ghosts if that’s what he wants to do. But even better, if he’d jump the path, veer back, circle around, and come up behind them, tap them on the shoulder, so they can see who he’s become despite them…and he can see them for what they are, face them with an honest confidence, knowing he’d made a wonderful life for himself, and his family.

    Wow…kind of went a bit sideways there myself. Sorry for that. But your posts always get me thinking, and seem to always strike a cord don’t they? Love you and your spherical orb of light Yvonne…xoxo

  2. I understand ~ believe me, I truly do. Tomorrow I have another post in this vein of thought which takes it a step further and may cement your conversation with hubby. I love how our posts intrigue us all and allow us to think/feel/explore different thoughts and feelings in order to grow and expand our lives. Thank you for your amazing comment. I am blessed to be here and to know you. I love connecting with you. ♥ Shine On dear Rhonda xo

    • I don’t know how I missed your reply, but I did. Maybe it got caught up in a spherical tornado! Yes…I’ve read your next post, and it’s brilliant! I’ll jump over to comment there, but just wanted to express, again, how amazing the world can be when filled with your kind of light.

  3. I have similar frustrations with many that I know. I find it almost impossible to be close friends with linear thinkers or those in extreme judgment of themselves and others.

  4. I love this post Yvonne!
    An other aspect is that people who are linear and data oriented tend to use the right brain more than their left. Creative compassionate people use more of their left brain. When we encourage activities that stimulate the opposite brain (like play, art, music, singing, photography, writing, dancing, being with children or pets …) it increases connections in that part of the brain … and can bring more balance into their lives.
    I think Nancy over at Spirit Lights the Way wrote about a book that was all about this … I’ll check it out.

    • It was a great blog post ~ thank you for sharing her link with me Val. I agree, we need balance in our lives and we can share our differences and enrich each other’s lives by doing so no matter if we are a linear or spherical thinker. ♥

    • Oh wowsza Val! THANK YOU! I just read the article and I am blown away. I appreciate your taking the time to show me as I love when I learn something new ~ and I love to read about others! You’re a sweetheart Val. Thanks for being you ♥

  5. I think both types of people are needed. I can operate in both those ways depending on the need of the moment, although I am one way naturally and the other way was learned. (I’m not telling you which is which haha!) What I’m trying to say though, is that varied ways of thinking, being, doing should be valued in each individual and used together to see the complete picture and work toward the greatest outcome. ❤
    Diana xo

  6. My greatest teachers have been those who have a Linear type of thinking. Challenging as it is at times, when I try to understand their point of view or why they think like they do, I begin to see them differently and more compassionately. If we were all the same, we would never grow or see the world with greater vision. A great post Yvonne to reflect on this. 🙂

  7. Great thoughts. I share them. I love a lot of people like that but have released them as we just don’t fit together for any amount of time. I have a magnet on my fridge with that saying and pass it on to many but most want to live there rather than move through. Walking through several hells, burned a bit but coming out the other side always feels so good and makes one appreciate life all that much more.

  8. Pingback: Crossing Linear Thinking with Spherical Thinking | Misifusa's Blog

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