Everything we see, everything we feel, and everything we experience is filtered through our brains. In the process, there’s a lot that’s left by the wayside as we go about our day.
What if we could pull that filter off of our minds, and just soak it all in? Well, we’d be completely overwhelmed by the immense load of data and we’d probably be unable to function.
So, by applying those filters, our brains are helping us out, straining out the bits we don’t need to survive.
Unfortunately, by the time we’re able to talk, our minds are pretty well conditioned to accept and process a certain set of data, that best fits with what we want to believe.
As a result, we then only ever experience events that fit with that particular mindset.
Here’s an example: You know that lady who is always upbeat, always looks on the bright side, and always seems to “come up smelling like roses”?
She has a completely different way of perceiving the same events as the next person you know.
Second example: That guy at the office who’s always complaining about something, who always seems to have bad things happening to him, and is forever one step away from disaster?
The same set of events will affect them differently, because the way they perceive those exact same events will be completely different.
Do you see yourself in either of these? My husband is the worrier in our family. He’s the one who expects the worst, is always afraid that the next event will be a disaster, and that something awful is just over the horizon.
On the other hand, I’m the optimistic one. I see the positive things, look forward to more fun, new friends, and I tend to concentrate on the good things that have happened at the end of the day.
We experience completely different realities.
It’s taken me twenty years to figure out that even though we’ve lived in the same house, had the raising of the same children, and frequently had similar jobs, that what he’s lived through has almost no similarities to what I’ve experienced.
It’s been sobering for me, in my happy-go-lucky way, to realize that his life has been a lot more stressful.
What to do? He’s not the kind of person who is willing to change his world view, and that means he’ll probably always be stressed and unhappy. My job can only be to try not to add to that burden. I can’t change him, but I can adapt myself to make life easier for both of us.
That’s the good news: That we do have the ability to change our own perceptions, to change our reactions to those perceptions, and so to change how we experience and affect our families and the world around us.
How do you experience the world? How does your partner (if you have one)? Are the two opposite, like in my family, or more alike than different? How can you change, or do you even want to?
Photo by Tommy Lisbin, courtesy of Unsplash
Have a FABULOUS day today!
With Grace and Gratitude,