[6/13/22] Mind-Body Monday: Perception Vs Reality

Today, I will be talking about the differences between what we see or believe to be Reality, or truth, and the Perception we have about it.


So, Reality simply is. It Is What It Is! I often say this to myself (even just under my breath) when I am personally challenged by a belief that something Is Not as I wish it to be.


This is a powerful phrase because it reminds us that we cannot wish a circumstance different by refusing to allow its existence.


We often change an experience in our internal narrative of it, by applying our own emotional charge or belief system to that experience. This is how we form our Perceptions.


So, I’ll describe this in a different way. Reality has no emotional component inherent in its description. It is not good or bad, pleasant, or uncomfortable, unless we make it so. In and of itself it is simply an experience or an awareness. However, we as human beings, apply emotions or perspectives to something in order to decide if it is something we want or do not want, and in doing that we also make it into something that should or should not have happened.


When we attribute an emotion or feeling to an experience, we give it power over us and how we feel. If something is internalized as a “bad” thing, then that experience now has an opportunity to be implanted into our personal narrative as “bad”. Then our minds immediately decide that it “should not” have happened, and then we feel sadness, regret or shame, that the thing did happen, and then we Suffer. This is because it now becomes a part of our internal narrative about what is right or wrong and what we should think or do about something.


Let me give you a simple example of our perception applying emotion to reality and the ways in which it can unknowingly and unpleasantly affect our experiences.


So, imagine that it is raining. If you have nothing to do or nothing you believe is positively or negatively affected by the rain, it stays as reality and it doesn’t affect your personal experience in any way. However, if you have just planted a garden and need to water it, the rain is a blessing. It is a joy that you don’t have to spend money on watering it yourself, and you are happy it is raining. Your perception of the rain is positive and pleasurable.


However, if it is your wedding day, or the day of something you wanted to do out of doors and can’t because of the rain, your perception is now negative. The rain is keeping you from pleasure and is making your day difficult or even impossible. Depending on the intensity of your desire you could even move from mere frustration to suffering.


So why does this matter? Well, each time we apply our own perspective or perception on an essentially neutral experience we risk shifting our energy to one of victimhood. When we are in a state of victimhood, we cannot manifest what we desire. Instead, we are more likely to manifest more feelings of victimhood. Why does this work this way? There is a Law of the Universe, talked about by many philosophers, spiritualists, and even some physicists that says: “The essence of that which is like unto itself, is drawn.” Another way of saying this that seems to be more common, is: “we attract to us, that which we are, or “like attracts like.” Now whether or not you believe in energy or vibration, or the Law of attraction makes no difference at this moment. I simply want you to allow for the possibility that your personal perception creates your beliefs.  


During this time of highly polarized belief systems, it has been easy to notice that there are rational, thoughtful, loving, and considerate people to be found on both sides of some extreme arguments. How is this possible you ask yourself? How can my sweet and smart aunt Agnes think … blah blah blah… that is so contrary from my beliefs?


Well, each of us can be seeing or hearing about the same set of circumstances, but this information can be received by us, by a completely different perceptional awareness system. By the time we have formed our own opinions about something, THE TRUTH, or Reality, has now become OUR TRUTH, or Perception.


And because we are such incredible, amazing individuals, we have different perceptions about many things. I may think something is bad, and you may think something is good. Those are our personal perceptions of the thing. The truth is… That the something that we disagree on, simply is what it is. That is the reality.


Why is this an important distinction? Well, on the obvious front, it may help you understand why people think so differently than you. Their perceptions of reality are based on everything they have known to be truth. And we could not possibly conceive of every life experience that someone has gone through that has shaped them to be what they are. Their very genes themselves do shaping of their psychological make up based on factors like openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These are considered the 5 big traits using the acronym of OCEAN, that are affected by our genetic make-up prior to even being born.


Then we have the learned environment of our upbringing, that changes so dramatically from decade to decade and generational differences. We are affected by our country, culture and environment, our ethnicity, our socioeconomic status, our religious beliefs, the mental, emotional and physical health of our parents and how that affected us, and on and on…


So, when you think to yourself how to people could read the same information or see the same thing and think completely differently about it, this is how. They are not seeing the reality; they are receiving their perception. Just as you are.


What can you do with this knowledge?  You can choose to let this awareness lead you to be more compassionate when faced with people who disagree with you. You might even let it help you seek to understand, more than be understood in an argument. I always find it fascinating to see why someone thinks the way they do about things. Why they think somethings are good or bad.  


Perhaps you might even be surprised to realize that often we don’t even immediately know why we think what we think or believe what we believe. Whether or not someone understands where their beliefs originate, it might help you to know that to them, they are NOT wrong, even if we perceive them to be.


Sometimes we all just feel something’s rightness or wrongness, without even knowing why… This is a personal distinction of the direction our thoughts are going for OUR health and well-being, rather than a reason to judge another person for THEIR belief systems.


The other way that applying a positive or negative emotion to an essentially neutral experience can affect us, is that it can have the tendency to attract other similar emotions, that then…. can become belief systems, that then…. can affect our health and overall well-being.


Perhaps you have had some things happen to you in your life, that you have decided to perceive as negative. I will leave the argument of whether or not it was, for a different discussion, lol.


 Instead, I just want you to imagine that you believe that negative things have happened to you and there is a commonality to them. If you saw last week’s live, then we could call this a “house that you have put them in, or that they live in.”  Your perception of the next experience that feels similar, could not help but affected by your belief systems, and most likely that would be in a way that would be seen as negative. In other words, “What you expect is what you get.” Expectations have a huge effect on experiences. They can’t help but. We look for what we believe to find. Google it!


So, in sum, when you decide something is bad, rather than letting it be “just is what it is”, you are opening yourself to attaching it to other beliefs of “bad things” and having that effect your feelings about yourselves and others in a negative way. This can then affect your belief systems in a way that gets you to expect more of what you truly don’t want.