“We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” – The Talmud …
The world appears very different to you and me–my world is not yours, and yours is not mine. Because we have a tendency to look at life through our own eyes–seeing things as how they affect us on a personal level–we come to find that our experiences in life are unique to us alone. It is therefore understandable–and somewhat expected–that we all see the same things in slightly different ways.
From politics to religion to everyday relationships between each other, “we see things as we are,” through the lens of our experiences, our upbringing, our culture, our beliefs. And because the world is not the way we believe it should be and people do not behave the way we believe they should, we sometimes find ourselves unhappy. But we control our own happiness in life. When life fails to meet our expectations, as it so often does, and we become unhappy, we only have ourselves to blame.
Of course, we cannot free ourselves of all unhappiness–for without it, there could be no happiness. Sometimes, we should feel unhappy. When a friend dies, we are unhappy because we feel that they should not have died. But this cannot change the fact that they are gone; it is right that we mourn them and feel unhappy. But there is a difference between feeling unhappy over the loss of someone you love and feeling unhappy because you are going to miss your favorite TV show or sporting event.
The ways in which we look at life determine our happiness, or lack thereof. When you find yourself feeling unhappy, take a moment to think about what you are feeling and what may have happened to bring about those feelings. Then ask yourself, “how is the way that I am seeing things affecting my reality?” In time you will come to understand the ways in which you see the world and how those perceptions affect your experience in life. The result of such insight will help you to avoid a lot of unnecessary unhappiness in life.
Endeavour to look at things through the eyes of others when the need arises.
Questions to consider:
What kinds of things do you see differently from others?
Think about some times when you have seen something differently from someone else. What kind of tension arose–positive or negative?
Why do we think that others see things the way we do?
For further thought:
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi