People are imprisoned in their own worlds more than we realise. This is not a bad thing as much as it’s the reality of our existence. If people don’t routinely reflect for learning, they certainly reflect in doubts they have about themselves, what they think other people are thinking about them, etc.
People are more self-absorbed than we give them credit for. So, many assumptions we make about what people think, and what they remember about us, or even what they hold against us, are bound to be incorrect.
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
The greatest existential opportunity before us is to sort truth from fiction; to determine the reality from skewed perception.
Our perceptions are so often guarded in concepts of the self that’s partially correct, yet partially false. Much of our history has moulded us this way. At the faintest rejection, and certainly the starkest, a hammer drove condemnatory nails deep into our psyches – our hearts were impinged, and we learned to scamper from the truth. We have become a product of our experience and not all of that experience has been healthy.
A healthy response to our experience is freeing up this developed self-structure in order that it would find itself available for the experiential moment; to feel as we should feel, according to the truth, without paralysing fear for shrinking.
Making Truth and Perception One and the Same
It’s a difficult thing to continually achieve – with high consistency – this concept of our perceptions conformed in the moment to truth; difficult, though, through training, not impossible.
The chief test is feeling the depths and heights of what we should feel in the precise moment of our experience. This is scary for a lot of people; to be willing to feel all of what should be felt takes courage and energy.
Absorbing losses into ourselves, as well as enjoying the ecstasies of life, is about understanding and accepting that life is both a messy and a lovely experience. It’s neither one without the other – both come into play. Where we would skirt along untroubled and uninspired we would have a numbed life that barely resembles life. What good is it to be pretending we experience one reality when the truth is different?
If we were to continually blame externals, the things that happen ‘to’ us, as if we had no role in them whatsoever, we would hardly perceive the disparity between the truth and our perception of it.
No one lives our lives but us. We have a central, if not indirect, role in most things that happen regarding our lives. When we’re not central or indirectly responsible we still need to acknowledge what we experience. We best honour the truth.
Experiencing the truth according to our perception is a great gift. It’s the freedom to feel all our emotions as they occur each moment. It’s freedom because we have power over our emotional destiny. Only by the truth can we be free.
Article by Steve Wickham
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