The first time I heard, ‘Perception is reality,’ I didn’t exactly buy into it. Probably because it was a phrase being taught to me at a job long ago. My immediate reaction, internally of course was, reality is reality. No matter how you choose to perceive it, reality doesn’t change. I was so wrong. 

Over time, reading lots of psychological articles, seeing a therapist, working with the public, and just living in the world I’ve come to understand that perception is reality. 

Our collective experiences, our emotional responses, our expectations of a situation or person, our mood that day, etc. can and will affect how we perceive something. 

Have you ever had a disagreement or just been upset by something a person said to you, and in recounting it to someone else they perceive it entirely differently than you did? This can be helpful but also frustrating. Sometimes you just want your friend to be upset with the person too but they are able to see the situation clearly without all the emotion you have attached to it, affecting your perception.

The reason I’m writing about perception, it’s a good reminder for myself. It’s a reminder to not let my emotions get the best of me and cloud a situation. It’s also a reminder to show grace towards others and assume the best because I don’t know what they are going through. 

It’s something I think we all need to consider. How does our perception color our interactions or opinions of others? Given our current state of affairs, particularly in the US, I think we all need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and offer compassion freely.

Let’s challenge ourselves to change our perceptions, to free our minds from judgment as much as possible, and lead with love.

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