When Perception Collides with Reality
Does perception really create our reality? Is it possible to hold two opposing ideas at the same time and allow them to cancel each other out because they are both true, depending on how you look at it? Let’s test this idea on something familiar to all of us. In your mind’s eye, picture a majestic mountain on a clear, sunny day. Maybe there are snow caps at the top and innumerable trees, shrubs, and greenery at the foothills. Now look at the very top of the mountain and see the sky. Does it look like the sky is sitting on top of the mountain?
Of course that is what it looks like to you as you observe it from your point of view. However, you and I both know there are tens of thousands of miles between the “sky” and the mountain itself. Knowing intellectually does not cancel out your personal experience of what you see.
Two Truths Can Cancel Each Other Out
This concept is known as “double think”. We “double think” when we can hold both the truth and our perception in our minds with both cancelling each other out simultaneously. When we approach change in this manner, we see that we can be willing to see things differently, even if we have a completely different point of view. When you start with a clear intention of being willing to see things differently, more will be revealed about whatever situation you are dealing with (see “Above all else, I am willing to see differently” for more exploration).
When we focus on things that we are powerless to change, we feel worse. We feel powerless, but it does not mean we are powerless. It means we are choosing to focus on something we don’t want, rather than something we do want. When we do this, we tend to see obstacles, not solutions.
Choosing to Focusing On What You CAN Change
Our focus carries the power of our energy. This is the reason why practicing gratitude is so powerful. The more we focus on all that we have to be grateful for, the more positive experiences we produce in our lives to express our gratitude. What you focus on expands.
Likewise, the more we focus on something we don’t want, the bigger and scarier the situation tends to seem. It becomes more threatening as your focus intensifies. Your fear may become paralyzing, which inevitably leads to catastrophizing. Worst case scenarios start popping up while the idea of a positive result slips further away. “Paralysis by analysis” is the natural result of focusing on what we don’t want to happen.
The next time you find yourself ruminating over a situation, arriving at the conclusion that you wish you could change something but you believe change is not an option, see if you can pause to set an intention to see things differently. Here’s what you CAN change in ANY situation:
- You can change how much energy you’re investing in your feelings about a situation.
- You can change how much space you are allowing it to take up in your life.
- You can put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective.
- You can give yourself grace by deciding that your inner-harmony is more important than anything else.
- You can choose to detach from the situation or person in love instead of anger or fear.
Choosing to see things differently is empowering because it reveals different options and solutions. It helps you see different ways to move forward or detach in love. Is there a situation in your life that you are having a hard time accepting?
It’s easy to throw your hand in the air and decide, “I don’t know”, or “it is what it is”. What do you imagine is possible if you challenge yourself to stay with your feelings about the situation long enough to come up with a few different perspectives? Could you start with thinking about the facts instead of your judgements about the situation? You get to have all of the judgements you want, and you get to be right about every one of them…………. but you don’t get to be happy at the same time.
Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy? Here’s the thing… if you could have both at the same time, you would already be happy. The choice is entirely up to you.
Make a list of at least three ways you could see a complicated or challenging situation in your life differently.
May I release the need to be right so I can experience inner-harmony.