Last week we talked about perception and the trickiness around interpreting how we see what we see. Someone emailed me and asked, "how do I see my perception? It's not like I can take off my glasses and see what shade I am wearing."
That is so true. As unfortunate as it is that we can't just check our user settings to see if our view is skewed or off-color, there are built-in features that are meant to be indicators - most of us have just learned to turn them off.
Perception is driven by our core beliefs which inform our feelings and then the stories we tell ourselves about those feelings. So here's how we attack them:
Approach the stories first.
The stories are the easiest place to start because we are most aware of them. Those tapes that just repeat in our head bringing up all those instances of where you failed or reinforced the core beliefs that do not serve you. These often come in the form of: I'm too much, I'm not enough, I'm not lovable, I am or am not xxx. We all know our own stories - at least a few of them.
Examine the story and tell yourself the real truth instead. Don't do this from the 'I'm triggered and don't want to see good things about myself' space. Take a breath, take care of yourself and then write yourself a new story for next time. Then refer to it when that same tape starts playing.
These stories come up from core beliefs through feelings. We develop stories with our mind to explain our feelings that arise when our core beliefs are threatened or in conflict.
Feelings are indicators of core beliefs, not our stories.
When we are emotionally stimulated - either positive or negative - those are goal posts to let you know where you are in alignment with your core beliefs. Anxiousness, sadness, anger, frustration, glee, peacefulness - are all indicators as well as the ways we feel them in our body - tenseness, cramping, flushes of heat, giggles.
This is a GOOD thing. These were built in to let us know what is happening around us. When we come up against core beliefs that no longer serve you or need to be adjusted to meet your growth, feelings come up to say it. So we have to look at what is happening for us.
Core beliefs can be changed.
We just need enough new truth.
We've spent most of our lives reinforcing some core beliefs that came to us as children. We have a lot of evidence to show ourselves how we don't measure up or are too much to fit in - or whatever your personal shaded glasses are. We've spent a lot of time and energy massaging our experiences into being supportive evidence of our core beliefs. It could be our feelings about money, relationships, or what is worthy of honor.
When something has so much evidence because we've been believing it so long, it becomes our default. What we want to do is find the new core belief that feels right and load it up with evidence.
New evidence comes from looking for it. It's around. We just aren't attuned to looking for it. Where are you showing up well and just right? What do you know to be true about you that would be more helpful to focus on?
Build and reinforce the perception you want to see. Find more truths to back it up. When you have more truth for the new belief than the old, the new belief becomes our perception and our new default.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Of course, it's more challenging to put it in practice because those old beliefs are strong.
Here's the thing. It's not about perfection.
For me, this is a process not meant to lead to a perfect end, but to COMPASSION.
Compassion for ourselves, and, compassion for other people. The more work we do we realize that us human beings weren't meant to be perfect, but we have a beautiful gift of being able to hone compassion.
Compassion is the heart's wisdom as a priority over the mind's judgment.
It's often especially hard to have this compassion for yourself.
A prayer for the imperfect:
May I see the light and beauty in my imperfections.
May I see them as witnesses of my growth.
May I see myself as more than perfect - a graceful spiritual being working within a living shell that is magical, yet somewhat limited.
May I see my imperfections as curiosities rather than a description of my whole.
May we forgive ourselves for not reaching perfection while honoring ourselves for all the beauty and love we offer the world from our strength.
May I know that at the core, I am pure love.