Can We Change Our Own Perception?

Have you heard of the quote that is normally attributed to the writer ANAÏS NIN:

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”

It’s quite humbling and sobering to know that there might be a version of reality that is not accessible to us at all. We like to think there is a way to be objective, that there is only one way to see the world and that is through our eyes. It’s hard to tell in the first place, how much is our perception and its influence to just the world as it is. This all sounds abstract so bear with me. Let me give you an example:

Two people bump into each other.
One thinks: What an asshole, he’s not looking, the world is full of ignorant stupid people that don’t care about one another.
The other thinks: I’m so invisible, no one even sees me, people just walk all over me in my life. I am powerless and useless.

Objectively both people were just lost in their thoughts and bumped into each other. It shouldn’t mean a thing and yet, for these two people a whole world view is impacted. If you listen to yourself talk, you will hear yourself narrate the world around you to yourself and it will reflect your thoughts and feelings about it.

I do doubt that there is a way for us to see the world fully objectively, untied to the pretenses we have installed. I don’t think people have the capability to see the world through an unfiltered lens. As scary and illogical as that sounds. And perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps it is what makes us human in the first place. A non-negotiable part ingrained in us. So if you can’t change the fact that you will wear some sort of lens looking out into the world, then you might as well change what lens you use. That may be the only part you can change for the better. So why not have at it and chose to see the world in a way it benefits your health and makes your life a little more pleasurable? As long as you are not hurting anybody, pick your mindset suitable for you.


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