Perception is one of those things which sets our reality but is open to interpretation. It keeps us from understanding other people. Each person has their own perception based upon their idea of reality which is based upon their past experiences. Since no two people experience life in exactly the same way, we cannot truly understand another’s perception of reality from their point of view. However, we do seem to come close enough to develop relationships, come to agreements, and, sometimes, feel understood & as if we understand.
The first time I understood perception as a means of shaping reality, I was in my first year of college. I was reading a beginning psychology book explaining the stages of development. The book was talking about teenage boys using picking, punching, etc as a means to show affection towards a female they find attractive. My first reaction was “Yeah, right.” Then it occured to me, maybe, this book knew something I didn’t. So, I sat back and looked over my life from the perspective the book was presenting.
You see, in my life, I was mostly raised by my animals. Animals do not attack or act aggressively unless they are threatened in some way. Their attack is a means to tell a human to back off. So, when a human was picking on me, pushing me around, or in any way being something other than nice and kind, I assumed I was doing something which was bothering them. I tried to change my behavior but, in the case of teenage boys, it didn’t help. So, I would just write those boys off and move on in my life trying to avoid contact with people who were unkind.
When I looked back at my life from the perspective of those incidents, possibly, being signs of interest in me as a female, it changed my whole life. I wasn’t unattractive, unlikeable, or even hated. I was, possibly, liked, admired, sought after, and people may even want to get to know me. So, I changed my perception of the world because I’d much rather live in a world where I am liked than in one where I am unliked. Thankfully, I did change my perception because, when I got together with my future husband, he punched me, lightly, in the arm. My first reaction was, “What did I do?!” I was thinking I’d ticked him off. However, I remembered the psychology book so I punched him, lightly, back on the arm and we started dating. With my first reaction, I would have written him out of my life and wanted no further contact. With the second reaction, I ended up married to him. So, perception played a very big role in my life and returned a completely different outcome.
My perceptions about many things have changed over the years. Dis-ease is no longer something that has to happen to me. My current perception is that I can live a life free from dis-ease once I learn how to change my perceptions so I see everyone from a place of love.
I no longer have to get injured if I fall because I know that, if I can stay relaxed, I can get up and walk away from falls.
I no longer have to spend 2 weeks on crutches when my patella flips out to the side. I can get up and walk away from the incident. Sometimes recovery is a process but I know that, too, can be instant recovery. I also know, when I reach a place of love, I probably won’t have the patella incidents ever again.
I was taught animals will lie to me, feel my fear and take advantage of it, and need to be taught certain things. I have realized animals never lie. They feel my fear and become afraid because they respect me enough to think there is something of which to be afraid and react accordingly. And, animals have the answers if I’m smart enough to listen to them instead of imposing my limited views upon them. Since I’ve changed my views on animals, I cannot sit down in my house without at least 1 cat immediately crawling onto me; normally, within a minute of sitting, I have 3 cats on me. 🙂
Any time I react it is due to my perceptions. I use to try to change my perceptions. Now, I’m just trying to make one change to my perception. I want to see the world and everyone in it as the loving environment and people we truly are. Sure bad things seem to happen but that is just people screaming for help. If I can see the love inside everyone, and realize any action, other than love, is simply a cry for help then I can be a place of love & safety for anyone who comes into contact with me. That alone will make the world a better place.
What perceptions have changed in your life over the years?