Perception is everything. You may have heard this before. Wikipedia describes perception “as the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information”. But we can only understand and attain awareness of something if we have the tools to do so. Unfortunately, this is not something typically taught, and everyone’s perception is different from the next as each life is unique.
When several people look at a cloud for example they all may see that cloud differently depending on the angle they are looking at it, the position of the sun, their vision, whether they are wearing prescription glasses or sunglasses, etc. All these things act as factors that affect each person’s perception of the cloud. It doesn’t make any of them wrong; the cloud is what it is, but it can only be perceived by each person with the tools available to them to do so. If the person were in a plane above the cloud it would again look completely different.
Some historians have stated that when European explorers’ ships were on the horizon of the southern continents that the native people there had never seen anything like a ship and they didn’t have any mental capacity to understand or perceive what they were seeing. They may have thought they were seeing a vision from the Gods as they had no other experiences with which they could base this one upon.
With more knowledge, we gain a broader perspective on life and the people and situations that make life what it is. Having a broader perspective can help us see why people do some of the things they do, as well as how we, as a society, have gotten ourselves into circumstances that we are now attempting to get out of. I am not going to name specific examples, as most people can just fill in the blank with just about every headline in the newspaper.
There is a video online called The Gorilla Experiment. For the video, you are asked to count the number of basketball passes made by the people in white shirts. At some point, a gorilla walks across the screen and then leaves. Would you see the gorilla? It is said that half of the people who see this video and count the passes, miss seeing the gorilla. Per Daniel Simons, “This experiment illustrates that we are missing a lot of what goes on around us and the fact that we have no idea we are missing so much.”
So why am I writing about this? I am writing about this because as I get older, I have seen my perception change. I know with all that is happening on the planet that everyone’s perception is changing. I am hoping that as a collective we can all look at each other with a different perspective. I hope we can look at the difficult choices we have to make with a newer perspective as I believe there are always new ways to solve old problems if we can allow our perception to change. Too many of the choices that have been made in the past have been based on fear. In the 1700s the Emperors in China isolated their country based on fear of invasion. If this would not have happened, our lives might be significantly different today.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t protect ourselves, what I am saying is that it might make life even better for ourselves and our children if we can open our awareness to see another perspective that we might not have thought about before. If we can do our best to look at the ugliness of life through a different perspective or lens, it can help our lives. I am focusing on issues in my life through the lens of love. I am trying my best to not make judgment, or criticism, but rather to change my awareness and perspective, to attempt to put myself in the other person’s shoes. This is a lot of work, and it is not always easy, but when you attempt to do so, it allows healing to begin at many levels.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. (Anais Nin)
For example, I was on Facebook last week and I had received spam that messed up my account and several of my friends. I could have gotten upset, but instead, I thought about the person that must have set up that spam in the first place. I thought about how alone they must feel, and how wounded inside they must be that they feel they have to hurt others, most of whom they probably do not even know. That person must be in a lot of pain. Instead of sending out a hurtful message which wouldn’t have really fixed anything, I sent one out to my friends that stated I am sending this spam person love and healing, as well as to all the people that they have affected. Passing along the negativity won’t fix anything but sending out love definitely won’t hurt.
Next time you see something that bothers you about someone or a situation, you can only perceive it from what you have inside yourself. It may really affect you and make you upset. You have a choice. Pause. Take a moment. Notice that you are reacting. This is typically where we are wounded inside and seeing that place inside ourselves from a new perspective helps us to heal inside, and changes how we interact with others around us. Then decide how you want to handle it moving forward. Like the gorilla, what pieces of information are you missing?
The point is when we gain a wider perspective on situations; we open-up our awareness and our hearts to allowing love between us and those around us. This allows healing to begin. I wish for you to open your awareness, your heart and to see yourself and the world from a new perspective.