“Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really experience the universe directly. We just experience our consciousness of the universe, our perception of it, so right, our only universe is perception.” ~Alan Moore
Too often we think about what we wish we had.
We wish we had more money. We wish we had a better job. We wish we looked differently. We wish we had more friends, a nicer spouse, smarter kids.
These wishes become yearnings, long-held desires we drag around with us like an albatross around our necks. We want it, but we don't have it or know how to get it.
We give away our time and energy thinking about not having it and not getting it. So not only do we not have “it” (you fill in the blank), but we've also given away our precious life resources. A gift with purchase. “Here world, let me offer up my peace of mind too while you're keeping me from my desirable thing.”
But the world is laughing. The world knows something that you (we) don't. Your perceptions are deceiving you. They are leading you down a dead end alley where you'll keep bumping your head against the brick wall.
Because you are perceiving the world through the fog of your myopic thoughts and experiences. But your thoughts are just a small part of the story, and your particular story may be old and tired anyway.
Your perceptions trick you into believing your world view is true, when in reality it is only part of the truth or maybe not true at all.
Here's an example:
You may think you need more money, but in this moment, do you really? What would you buy with more money — security? stuff? freedom? What if you turned that yearning around and said, “I don't need more money.” For a moment, perceive the world from that perspective, and look for evidence to support it. “I don't need more money because . . . .”
We can always find evidence to support what we want to believe.
You can undercut perceptions just as easily as you believe them.
It's just that you've trained yourself to believe everything your thoughts tell you. “Oh, I'm thinking that, it keeps popping up in my mind, so it must be true.” OK, so maybe there's some truth, but there are also ten ways, a hundred ways, a million ways to look at it.You can slice and dice your perceptions. You can put them into a Ronco blender and make a perception shake. And then you can find the truth in whatever you pour in the glass.
How thrilling! What a relief! It turns your yearnings into slop.
It yanks the rug out.
No more stressing about “I need this or that” — “I won't be happy until this things happens.” You can just relax and think, “Look at all this beauty and goodness around me, look at what I have. Look at the wonderful things those people have. Good for them.” Maybe you've poured that perception into your glass.
It can also turn your beliefs about yourself upside down.
Have you ever had someone say something complimentary that seems so unlike you that it's shocking?
“Oh you are so organized, I wish I could be as organized as you,” they say.
“Me?! Really? Oh I don't think I'm organized at all. I'm a mess. Believe me, I am the last person in the world who's organized.”
And so you present them with your perceptions as though it's the closing argument in the trial of the century. You know best, because it is you we're talking about after all.
But what if you could look at yourself through their eyes?
Try it. Pick that place where you feel the weakest, the most vulnerable, the bad bad baddest. Now put on your Best Friend Glasses or your Adoring Mother Glasses. Who do you see? Let the contrary evidence shift to the forefront for a moment. See, that's you too. Maybe it's even more you than the you you're perceiving through your Personal Perception Glasses.
I'm not trying to be Pollyanna here. You'll need things you don't have. You'll want things you don't need, but they'll make you feel good anyway. There will be things about yourself that you don't like, that need to be changed. Areas of growth.
But with the knowledge that you aren't defined by your perceptions, you can easily shift into change rather than struggling toward or against it.
When you reclaim the energy sucked away by mis-perceptions, you have the space to find creative solutions, brilliant ideas, new approaches. You aren't in the land of yearning and longing. You aren't in a place of perception deception. You're on the open road, looking at the varied landscape ahead with nothing to stop you. Now you can shift into high gear.
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