Adjusting the lens

Again, in the middle of the night, or early in the morning, depending on how I look at it, I was awakened by the dog, and then lay awake, and be hit with inspiration for a post.  It is great for writing, but not so great for getting enough rest………

Anyhoo, last night the inspiration was focused and is focused this morning on the concept of perception.  For me, the key to the human experience and what we take in, in terms of the events and circumstances of our world, has everything to do with our perceptions.  How we see things. 

This is brought to mind visually to me by two different concepts:  eyeglasses and cameras.

If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you are familiar with eye exams.  Now, even those that don’t need glasses or contacts have to have eye exams for good health.  So, most of us have been through our share of exams, that include having the big machine placed directly in front of our eyes, reading the chart, and having the professional slide various types of prescriptions in front of each eye, to find out if the chart appears more clear, or less clear.  Sometimes, by only a fraction of an adjustment, we go from being able to clearly see something, to having it be a blur.  It can also go from blurry to crystal clear with just a couple of clicks.  We tell the doctor what appears most clear to us.

In addition, when I was growing up, I always was fascinated, and still am, with capturing photos of objects, people, and events.  My favorite subject to photograph would have to be earth scenery, usually foliage, sunrises and sunsets, the ocean, and mountains.  No matter how many times  I take photos of places, even the same locations at times, the look of the resulting photo always looks a bit different.  Maybe sometimes, the camera lens is a bit out of focus.  Maybe, I have used various filters on the front of the lens.  I may take the picture at various times of day, or different seasons.  Am I standing or sitting in my car?  All angles and possibilities vary the result.

Perception reminds me so much of a camera lens, or the lens of a pair of eyeglasses.  Perception is at the key of Choice Theory, which I often speak about here, in that our world that we experience is really not the real world, but the perceived world:  that which comes through various filters to become OUR reality.  As soon as something comes into our awareness, we have filtered it through our own individual perception.  So, depending on how I perceive something that happens, or that I see, or a person that I know, so that becomes our reality. 

I will explain another way, which is also the way that I often describe perception to others that I am teaching about it.  I will show the group a chair that is in the room.  Usually, all of those in the room can identify the object as a chair, but dependent on our personal perceptions, there are various aspects of the details that first occur to each of us.  The texture.  Materials.  Whether or not we believe it looks comfortable.  The color.  Where it is in the room.  That perception is influenced by where and when we grew up.  What our cultural background is.  What we were taught.

As we grow up, we learn, even as children, that we can adjust our perception.  Sometimes, it is more difficult for children to learn to adjust their lenses, but I believe it is a bigger challenge most of the time for us adults.  We have grown up with certain hard and fast rules and beliefs, and we do not easily let go of them.  We may want to look at the world differently, but simply do not know how. 

It really is easier and more matter of fact than it may seem.  No matter what our circumstance, no matter what is going on in our lives, good or bad, challenging or delightful, it will only affect us by how we perceive the situation.  So, if we become jobless, or without our intimate relationship, we can become consumed with how dire our situation is.  And, I don’t presume that those are not very life changing, potentially negative circumstances.  However, our perception has everything to do with what we do with those circumstances.  Whether or not we are stunned for months over a job loss, before we begin to even look again.  Whether we fall into a deep depression after the loss of a relationship and give up all joy of life. 

It is all in the way we adjust our lens.  Crisis or opportunity.  Whether we will take effective control of our lives or believe that we are powerless to change anything.  Whether a challenge will be met by us with a newfound determination or defeat.  Sometimes, it means just changing our view, ever so slightly.

Sometimes, it means, changing our lens completely.  But, it is never too late in our lives to do so.  For in changing our perception, taking a different view, or adjusting our lens, we just may be taking more effective control of our lives than ever.

And, oh, how sweet that will be………


7 thoughts on “Adjusting the lens

  1. Unbelievable V absolutely unbelievable. You never cease to amaze me! This is a beautiful post and a true one at that.
    When growing up in a very bad situation, an abusive one, man your lens really becomes out of focus to the real world. My perception of the world was bleak and very negative. I’m in the process of adjusting my lens, day by day it becomes more clear. I try everyday to make sure my son has a clear vision of the world surrounding him. Great post V…I KNEW it would be!!!!

  2. Nikki: That story, your story, to me is very empowering. I have known many children, and many grown children, who never changed their lens when they were no longer, physically, in harms way. I know fully from their stories how pervasive the effects of childhood trauma and abuse can be. However, unless the lens gets changed, a person can never not be a victim. It is the emergence of a survivor, a liver of life, from a victim, that is so powerful to me in your story. AND, that you are a parent who is teaching your child about the lens that is a more accurate view of the world is just the icing on the cake.

    I really am humbled and so grateful to have met you here…….

  3. There is a great Shakespeare quote, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” And yes, there are good things and bad things, but what I always liked about that quote is how you can change the way you see things just by thinking a little differently. Having worn some sort of corrective lenses since I was 8, I love your examples from an eye exam — very visual for me and a great way to illustrate your point!

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