Have you ever heard someone say “People’s perception is their reality.”? I have heard this practically all of my life, but in the last few weeks I have been thinking about it on a deeper level as I have wiggled my way thru a cocoon of change. I am discovering that I choose my reality–my experience–by being vigilant over my perceptions.
For many years, I have wanted to see different results in several areas of my life. Wanting or wishing for different results is not the same thing as actually being willing to do the work necessary to get the result. Change is always an inside job and much of that change has to do with the neighborhood of our inner thoughts and perceptions.
If, for example, I am thinking about how hard a project is going to be, I am really sabotaging myself and setting myself up to see only the difficulties and frustrations. If, however, I am thinking about how exciting a project is going to be and focused on all the gifts in store for me, then I am setting myself up to see only those things, which in turn minimizes the difficulties and frustrations, or at least my perception of them. It’s not that the the gifts don’t exist in one scenario or that the difficulties don’t exist in the other; they both exist in the essence of the same project. The only thing that changes are those things on which I choose to focus and it is precisely those things that determine what my judgement of the outcome will be–good or bad, enjoyable or miserable, fruitful or disasterous. As an aside, praying for happy memories at family functions was some of the best advice I think I’ve ever received. It truly makes all the difference in the world!
So I can choose to believe in the result I desire, direct all of my thinking toward that result and it is likely that eventually I will get that result. Or I can let the fear of the undesired result dominate my thinking and eventually I will get that result. I am discovering, though, that some desired results take longer than others, even when pumped with consistent focus. It is not always a matter of thinking the thought and Presto!, that thought becomes a reality. Sometimes that is the case, but not always. Sometimes, there are other iceberg beliefs that, in the process of focusing on my desired reality, will get untangled so that the focus of my thoughts can become a reality. There is some stamina required here. I have learned to keep focusing on the result anyway and surrender the ultimate timing of its arrival. And I have also learned that, because it is not predictably always the case, I enjoy the element of surprise sometimes when the Universe does grant me the desires of my focus quickly.
I have always known that I have choices; we all do. We all have the power to choose our realities. But where I have fallen short is in being able to choose the desired results in the face of fear so potent that I can feel the feelings in my body as if the circumstances are presently happening. At times like this, the possibility of being able to believe in something different, especially a more desirous result, seems virtually impossible, if not bleak. However impossible it may seem though, it is critical to my getting out of the fear, even if it is a “start and start over” process. To me, this is where faith enters the picture–believe even when it seems bleak.
I’ve discovered that I must be conscientious and vigilant over my thoughts at ALL times. Doing so affords me insurance–a sort of mental insurance that when the fear of life’s circumstances shoves me on its merry-go-round, I can say “No, thank you”, get off and choose a different reality. Those trips on the merry-go-round of ugly and scary thoughts that feel so good or even prudent at the moment are, in fact, an erosion to my mental insurance. Without this insurance, I have very little reserves of stamina.
The reality of perception is that I choose the perceptions that become a reality in my life and the reality of my life is on the inside of me, not in the circumstances outside of me.