The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust
How does life look today? Oh, and what about the world around you? Is it looking good, great even? Is it filled with loving caring people and great experiences, or is it a fearful place where you have to be careful, and very cautious, because who knows what’s lurking out there ready to get you? Is your life filled with positive and productive experiences or regrets and evidence of failure? Are you looking forward to continuing the wonderful journey you’re on, or are you more likely to want to stay in bed and hide under your covers?
One of my friends is a pessimist. He looks for the worst that could happen, he believes everybody else has what he wants and so there’s not much left for him. His expectation is that people will let him down and his life is full of disappointment…all the gnarly things he would rather be without. Not all the time, because no one is in one state of mind constantly, but it’s his general mindset. His regular point of view.
Another sees great opportunities to get ahead, sees life as an adventure filled with goodies and joy. No matter what shows up, he usually expects something wonderful to come from it.
The most amazing thing is they’re both right because life isn’t full of absolute truth as we we know it. Life is like a flowing river, it’s fluid, characterized by constant change, activity and movement. All of it influenced by you, by us. Our thoughts and beliefs are the guiding force for this river of life and our predominant mind set is the major factor in our every day experiences.
We all believe we see events and conditions in our life as they really are. We believe we’re pretty objective…err not so much…we see everything through the lens of our concept of things. Something occurs, and we filter the event through our expectations and previous experiences and boy it’s easy to misinterpret things this way.
I need glasses to read and maybe some of you need them to see long distance. Think about when you’re not wearing them, or you put the wrong pair on…life gets pretty fuzzy around the edges, mais oui? (That’s all the French I have folks, apart from bonjour, so fear not.)
Back to our glasses, or spectacles as my Darling One calls them, if we forget them…yep that’s me…and I can’t read the menu at that new Indian restaurant we can’t wait to try, do I say what a lousy menu, it’s unreadable? Not on your nelly. We know the problem lies with the lens we’re using, in this case the lens of my eyes that no longer focus very well on the written word, unless the words are really ginormous.
My Darling One uses contacts and there have been times when they haven’t worked so well, yet I’ve never heard him blame out there for his vision challenges. He doesn’t assume there’s something wrong with the world, he simply switches lenses, maybe more than once, until he gets the ones that make his world look wonderful.
So it is with the lens, or filter, our mind uses, which is the perspective from which we view the world. Our perspective is our imprinted beliefs, the thoughts that we’ve repeated over and over that created the vibration of energy that makes up this perspective. And these thoughts crystallize into objects and conditions in our life.
So my friend the pessimist has built up a perspective that life is tough, an obstacle course to be surmounted because the lens through which he views the world both distorts and continues to create his reality, totally according to what he expects. In fact, he can hardly see anything but trouble looming in the distance. And guess what he mostly gets?
Equally true for my more optimistic friend, except he can hardly see anything but the sunshine. He expects plain sailing and sunshine. Oh it might be hidden by the occasional storm cloud, but that doesn’t matter to him, because he expects the sun to shine any minute now. And no prizes for guessing what he mostly gets?
We need to become aware of the lens we use to view the world. If we can look at it without judging, without criticising ourselves, we begin to see our underlying truth, see the deeper level of our lives. And then we can operate from an entirely different and new perspective.
But since we mostly think that our beliefs about reality are the truth, why would we question them? Mostly we don’t.
I remember some months after my late husband passed away I began to question myself about some beliefs I held. Why did I believe that…or this…and what about that, and pitiful as it is for me to tell you, I had no clue. Yet these beliefs were assumptions that I hadn’t know were operating and they were forming and creating my current experiences.
The big challenge is that our beliefs appear in our mind to be the absolute facts…so of course they’re right…of course they’re the truth. Who needs to examine them? Well, I certainly needed to examine mine and I’m here to tell you what I found was not pretty…I’d imprinted in my subconscious, in my imagination, the kind of beliefs that could bring me nothing but heartache and sorrow, failure and lack. Thankfully I also had beliefs that could only lead to happiness and success and even more thankfully they were my dominant beliefs. The place where my thoughts frequently returned without any help from me.
There are numberless realities available to us. We don’t need to stick with the one we’ve got. We don’t need to stick with the beliefs that we’ve got, but we do have to determine the beliefs we want and stick with them like glue. Time to check out some new lenses.