Reality often coloured by perceptions

The whole fight started when he hit me back!

“Daddy he hit me” screamed child number one. “No I didn’t” said number two,”he was going to hit me so I pushed him away”.

“No I wasn’t” says number one, “ he had my toy and I was just walking towards him to get it.”

Well, sixteen years as an expert witness in court was not lost on me.   I asked, “When you walked up to him to get your toy, how determined were you to get your toy?”

“He had it and I was going to get it” was the confident reply.

“Is it possible” I asked , “that your determination to get your toy cold have appeared to your brother as if you had aggressive intent?”

“ I suppose so” was the response, with a distinct tinge of deflation this time.    “What were you doing with your brother’s toy?” I asked child number two. “It was by mistake” was the answer. “Yes said I”, like the old story of the tree that just happened to jump in front of the moving car.

Have you ever noticed how people tend to describe reality in ways that exclude their on participation in it. Nasty people will say that” the rest of the world were perfect they would see what a nice person I am.”

Our relationships with others are really mirrors of ourselves. In other words the way that we perceive others tells us about who we really are. Our perceptions of others tell us what we value, what we choose to give our attention to and our deeply held motives and intentions. Those who choose to see good in others, find good no matter what the circumstances. The opposite is equally true. Some people constantly perceive what others need, some are focussed on liking fro ulterior motives in others and some on whether they are the other is winning the race of life.   Furthermore, how others respond to us is a mirror of how they react to our own reactions to our stories or assumptions about them that informs our behaviour towards them.

The blind spot of our participation in creation or our reality is something that develops early on in life with the type of reasoning that I described in the story above. The word responsibility implies our ability to respond. That implies the ability to choose our preferred responses based on our deeply held values and ideas, as opposed to being merely enslaved to our reactivity towards others people’s behaviour. In order to teach children to have true freedom, we need to teach them to take responsibility and to realise their power in every situation to shape their reality and relationships for good or bad.

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