“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” ~ Anais Nin, Seduction of the Minotaur …
It is easy to think that the reality we see, is the reality that exists, but often times we end up seeing things with tunnel vision. We tend to see things how we want to see them, projecting on to those objects almost everything about them that we see. Attractiveness, beauty, ugliness, fascination, wonder, awe, and value–its worth becomes a product the beholder. That is how several people can look at the very same rainbow and see very different things–an amazing miracle, the result of the weather, a sign of good luck, the promise of God, or the refraction of light in drops of water.
The ways in which we look at things have the ability to teach us a lot about who we are, how we feel, what we desire, how we feel towards things, and so much more. Before I was a father, I used to see disruptive and rebellious children as bothersome, disrespectful, and often times a bit annoying. Yet now that I am a father, with children of my own, I see disruptions and unruliness as cries for attention and help.
The power of perception is an important element towards our growth, development, and fulfillment in life. In fact, the concept of seeing things as we are can be applied to every aspect of our lives, including our careers and professions, our relationships and connections, and our likes and dislikes, for the ways in which we view other people and things in our lives often times relates directly to how we see ourselves. Thus we can learn a lot about who and what we are by analyzing those perceptions; with a simple shift in perspectives, and perhaps a touch of honesty, we can gain a wealth of knowledge about ourselves… from ourselves.
Take a moment to reflect upon how “who you are,” influences how you see people and things around you.
Questions to consider:
How do we learn to think that we are somehow “objective” about the things and people we see?
What would it take to shift your perspective to start to figure out what parts of yourself are showing up in what you think you are seeing?
Is it true that when we are feeling better about ourselves, we see the world more brightly? How does that relate to Anais’ statement?
For further thought:
“There’s a story about a man who found that a tool of his was gone. He suspected a neighbor boy, and the next time he saw the boy, he walked like a thief, talked like a thief, and acted like a thief. The next day, though, the man found the tool someplace where he had left it himself. The next time he saw the neighbor boy, the child walked, talked, and acted just like a boy.” ~ unattributed