I originally wrote this story during the 2016 Presidential elections but I think you will see that it still holds up today.
Whether you woke up today thrilled or disappointed, please don’t let the title of this column scare you. This is not a political editorial piece, but, rather my perception on perception. If that sounds confusing, please bear with me.
Have you ever visited someone’s home and, upon entering, the host promptly says, ‘please excuse the mess’, but, when you look around, the house is actually spotless? Every time this happens to me, I am left to wonder if this person sees life the same way they see their home.
For all practical purposes, things are great, but instead, they choose to focus on the one thing that might be out of place. A wonderful John Lubbock quote says, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” Therefore, if you look for dust bunnies, you will surely find them.
Case in point: this election. The other day I was on the phone with a dear friend of mine and we started discussing the Presidential debates. As she was talking, I kept thinking how fascinating it was that her viewpoint on the debate was the complete opposite of mine. We both watched the same debate, yet, we both were left with a different impression of it. Neither of them wrong or right, but, both correct according to each of our perceptions. French writer Gustave Floubert said, “There is no truth. There is only perception.”
The home in which you live, the people that are in your life, and the things you surround yourself with are all a reflection of how you perceive yourself. Proverbs 23:7: “For as he thinks in is heart, so is he.” I know this is true for me, as for many years, my husband kept telling me to write for the public. He was, and is, a fan of what I have to say and how I see the world. He encouraged me year after year to share what I was writing. The problem was not that I did not appreciate his encouragement, but, that I did not see myself or my writings in the same way he saw them. Therefore, it was not until my perception of myself and my writings caught up to his that I was able to create time and space for my writing.
“All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”- Buddha.
When I look back on my life, it would be easy to say that life just happens. But, in truth, my life is what I have made it. When I was younger, my focus was on making money. I stayed in a career where I was unhappy. As my perception of money changed, so did my life. I no longer worked for money, but rather, for joy. My joy and the joy of others. When this happened, my whole life around me changed. My home changed, my friends changed and my happiness level changed.
If you have been following my column, you would understand why someone might say that the events of my life have been somewhat miraculous. At least, that is my perception on the events of my life.
Rock star Jon Bon Jovi said, “Miracles happen everyday. Change your perception of what a miracle is and you will see them all around you.”
Ironically, as I write this column, I am multitasking and watching the second Presidential debate. As I watch, I try to expand my perception to see the same things my dear friend saw during the first debate. Will I change my perception enough to see a miracle happen in this debate? Let me just say that my phone call with my friend in the morning should be interesting.
That was four years ago and I can honestly say that our viewpoint of the debate or the candidates did not change but neither did our friendship.
That being said, whether you woke up this morning happy or sad over the results of this year’s election remember: it is just politics and the people in our lives are actually more important to our lives than who won an election. But, then again, that it is just the politics of perception.
Life is mysterious.