This month, I have been reviewing my perceptions and the perceptions of those around me. By perceptions I mean our thoughts about what others or ourselves are believing about what is happening in the world around us. I have noticed that I have been slipping into perceiving incorrectly and I have been bringing it up for discussion. I discussed this first with Jean Adrienne and later Eric Altman and I delved into it.
We tend to get very confused around the two, often separated, views in our world: on the one side we have the views of our ‘human aspect’ or ‘human nature’: the views of the inner child who strives to be right or the ego that creates disharmony in our lives and on the other side we have the views of the more enlightened and evolved ‘higher aspect’ or ‘higher nature’ of ourselves which we call our intuition, our higher self, our soul, or our BEing. The human nature, often referred to as the lower nature, doesn’t necessarily view things the same as our higher nature.
The thing that Eric and I discussed at length on my show was that we aren’t two different pieces, higher and lower nature, we are one. What we see as conflicting are aspects of our one nature and each of these aspects is truly just as important as the other. We are human beings that are having a spiritual experience, but we are also having a human experience. We’re not here to choose sides – we are here to find a way to bring them together and make them whole!
People who try to convince us that for us to BE evolved in this world we must transcend the ego are delusional. It is like trying to pretend that we have a million dollars when we can’t pay the rent. It is denying the aspect of ourselves that is here experiencing this world, the emotional richness of this world. The other aspect that is our BEing, our higher nature, is most helpful when we give this part of ourselves the opportunity to participate in a grounded and centered ‘vehicle’, our bodies. To think that we can just fly off to some higher nature world without being grounded and centered is equally delusional. The higher nature and the lower nature are both an essential aspect of our oneness – and every bit as important.
When it comes to perceptions, this is the human aspect of us that comes to light. It is that part of us that feels like we must defend ourselves, prove that we are right, or hide our vulnerabilities by reacting as if we are invulnerable. Whenever we are reacting, we have slipped (or separated) into our humanness and it is best to recognize this. We are human; we need not try to pretend we are anything but. However, to let this human aspect rule our lives is the opposite of what we are desiring – if we want to grow into love.
When we aren’t recognizing our perceptions then we blame others for how we are feeling. We make our dis-ease into the person opposite us, our job, our employers, our friends and/or our family. We hope that instead of taking responsibility for our discomfort we can displace it onto someone or something else. We are afraid of seeing our own vulnerabilities, our own pain and fears. We have this belief that life is too much of a struggle and to actually touch these waters is to drown in our pain.
Earlier this month in a support group call Eric discussed the idea that “if you aren’t getting what you want then you don’t love yourself”. Therein lies our biggest problem: our lack of self-esteem, confidence, and self-love are what create our perceptions about life to go askew. We react from a place of low self-esteem or it may show up as the opposite, arrogance… yet either way it comes from a place of judging self or others. It comes from fear instead of love.
Think of an example where you are blaming someone else for your discomfort. This could be with a lover, and ex-lover, a work colleague, friend, or family member where something has occurred that you have perceived that you were betrayed, hurt, angry about, or where something has “happened” to you. Everything you are feeling in this situation is perception. You have taken something that happened and made it personal and made it about you. Therefore you have placed the blame on someone else for this occurrence, for your feeling this way. You may feel this has made you depressed or contributed to your already low self-esteem. However, no matter what, it is your perception of what has “happened” to you that has created an inner story and likely a story that you have been playing since you were a child.
When a story keeps playing in your life, you know the pattern is there to assist you to evolve towards love. However, what I am inviting you to become conscious about is that what you believed happened is not the motivation of the other people but rather you replaying your story: that in fact, the other person or people involved have their own story replaying in their ego and these people are as caught up as you are; that these people also just want to feel loved; and these people are also reacting to their own story, not trying to play into yours. And that if these people were conscious, they would be able to explain why they did what they did and that it had nothing to do with you.
What I invite you to ponder is what your underlying fear is? What moves you to react? What emotion are you trying to defer, distract or escape from that is the real problem? And if you could realize that by projecting it onto someone else you are not accepting your human side and that diving into this emotion would quickly disperse the fears, the emotions, and, in fact, even the perceptions – once the answers to these questions are identified.
It is never as unpleasant as we believe. It would empower you to see what is real and true. This is just adding to your story and you can discover that all the others that you are blaming, are as innocent as you are … or as human!