A few nights ago, my sleep was disturbed and restless. I remember waking up roughly four times: not to the point of a full waking state but to a subtle awareness of not being asleep. Each time I entered this state, I saw a sentence typed out before me on a small piece of paper. Even half asleep, I understood I was supposed to recall the words when I fully awoke. They would somehow be significant, I was sure of that. But when my alarm went off and I dictated the sentence into my phone so as not to rely on my faulty memory later, I found the sentence's meaning elusive.
We all have a right to perceive.
That was it. The sentence I struggled to keep in my consciousness all night. My first thought was a lesson in judgment, but that seemed too easy. Perceive means to become aware of or develop an understanding by using the senses. I stayed focused on the word "perceive" but I felt uncomfortable with that word choice. Just because I perceive something to be true does not make it so. I began to sense a struggle within my own being about reality versus perception, illusion versus truth.
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." Marcus Aurelius
Can perception be wrong? The information I bring into my brain via sight, sound, taste, touch and smell is my experience. You may sense the same information and it enters your brain the way you perceive it. I am not certain I can tell you or vice versa our perception is wrong as it is our own personal experience. However, our interpretation of what we are perceiving becomes opinion. Opinion is not based on fact but we all have opinions...are some of them wrong? Opinion begins to form with perception and then mingles with in our head with pre-existing beliefs and personal life stories to arrive at a conclusion.
"You don't know me; you know your life-based interpretative perception of me. There is a difference."
Again, we arrive at opinion versus truth. Perception versus reality.
"There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception." Aldous Huxley, English Writer
Though it is against my yoga nature, I have been very judgmental lately towards someone in my daughters' life. I have not spoken a word to this person directly, but I have allowed my thoughts to become words and enter the Universe. I am certain the note in my dream was to remind me that it is okay for my daughter and I to perceive someone very differently.
What does the message mean to you?
We do all have a right to perceive. We all have a right to hold different thoughts, perceptions, beliefs and opinions. Regardless, I do believe (opinion!) that perception is connected to attitude and attitude is connected to Life outcome.
"Life is all about perception. Positive versus negative. Whichever you choose will affect and more than likely reflect your outcomes." Sonya Teclai
Attaching to the positive brings you positive; grasping onto negative, brings you down. I leave you with this quote,
"When you look at a field of dandelions, you can either see a hundred weeds, or a thousand wishes." Unknown author
It is mid-October in Chicago and the weather is a balmy 74 degrees. A loving wind messes up my hair as I drive, windows wide open. I am listening to a man on the radio relaying a story about his dad. Having come into the conversation after it started, I later gathered the dad and his wife had had a fight and the grown son had been present. The man described how he walked into the room where his dad was seated behind a computer. The son figured his dad was on the Internet but was surprised when he caught sight of the screen that his dad had actually opened up a word document and seemed to be staring at a list of words.
The son asked his dad what the words were all about. His dad explained that many years ago he had started a list of all the words that reminded him why his wife was a good woman. And every time they would fight, he would go into this document and read the list. He no longer wanted to give up his energy to anger and hatred and he realized the positively worded list no longer allowed for that. He acknowledged that sometimes he was so mad, he would read the first few words and grumble at their inaccuracy. But the further he read, the better he felt.
Who should you make a kind word list for? A partner? A parent? A grumpy neighbor? Can you make
a non-judgmental and kind list for yourself?
"Kind words are short and easy to speak; but their echoes are truly endless." Mother Teresa
I would love for you to grab a pen right now and jot down words on this very page that describe your kindnesses. If you find this a difficult task, know that the Ego has popped in for a visit to question your truth. You may begin to write, "I am loving," when the Ego halts your pen mid-sentence to ask, "But are you? Remember the time..." and off it goes. The Ego is simply a distraction. Keep writing without question. When you find yourself hesitating as though you have run out of more words, keep writing. This will allow the subconscious brain to take over and begin to speak, not from your mind, but from your heart. You may be surprised when you go back and read some of the words your hand wrote down.
"Letting go of your ego opens the door to taking a new and creative course of action." Suzanne Mayo Frindt