Perception is often not reality

 Are you the center of the Universe? Certainly that notion is ridiculous to anyone who has a basic understanding of the world we live in and even more so if you understand the Solar System, Galaxy or even what little we know so far about the Universe. However, let’s say the Universe is infinitely big, and that no matter where you are standing there is an equal amount of Universe to all sides of you, putting you squarely in the middle. More importantly, the sub-conscious mind from day-one only knows what it’s able to perceive (more on that later), and thus by default perceives us as being at the center of our own made up universe.

 What we perceive from our own point-of-view is often all we have available to define our reality; thus the notion that “perception is reality”, but all too often this simply is not the case. Ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”? In other words, you really don’t have any way to know what someone else is going through until you’ve experienced it for yourself – otherwise known as empathy. Until then you have a choice: Use your default setting of judging others based on your own feelings and point-of-view; or give them the benefit of the doubt and actively take on a more positive and empathetic attitude.

 When we allow our default viewpoint – which is very much self-centered by default – to define us and our world, everyone else starts to appear as if they are in our way. They are causing us an inconvenience. They are at fault for the way we are feeling. The reality, however, is most often very different as we don’t know if that person who cut us off, while driving in heavy traffic, legitimately has a better reason to be in a hurry then we do. We don’t know if the mother who just screamed at her child in the checkout line is having the worst day of her life. We don’t know what the person who just sneered at us is feeling, or if maybe we are actually in their way.

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