The Lenses Through Which We Believe
We all know the concept of looking at the world through “rose-colored glasses,” an accusation of being overly or unduly optimistic. But lately I’m observing that more often than not people are looking at the world through dirty windows.
I was doing some spring cleaning the other day and when I was done washing my windows, I was overwhelmed with how beautiful it was outside…as if the outside world had suddenly changed or gotten more stunning than it had been an hour earlier. Since my mind is trained to think metaphorically, I couldn’t help but ponder how many of us are looking at our lives—and our loves— through “dirty windows,” and nonetheless believing that we are seeing things clearly.
In my work with others, I constantly see people assess and evaluate others and circumstances through the dirty windows of perception and belief. We are somehow wired to “make meaning” out of what we see and hear and then to believe that the meaning we made is “the truth.” When, in actuality, if we “wash the windows” of our perception, we may well see the situation far more clearly.
My invitation for you is to practice observing your thoughts and when you notice a belief, look at it to see if it is really true or simply a belief. Again and again I am reminded that just because we believe something, doesn’t mean it is true. And in equal measure, just because we don’t believe something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Ultimately, our beliefs and perceptions are merely the windows through which we look at the world. So how about doing some “spring cleaning” and washing the windows you look at your life through? How about washing the windows you look at your love, and lover, through!
Notice the meaning you make out of comments or even facial expressions. Notice your assumptions and how they impact your relationships. When you find yourself making meaning out of an unreturned text or phone call, or someone late to a date or someone kissing you, notice the beliefs you are taking on about the other person. What beliefs did you assume about yourself?
In keeping with the work of Byron Katie, ask yourself, Is this belief true? Do I know that this is true? And explore, Who would I be, or how would my life be different if I didn’t hold this belief? The more I do this, the more I see that we really don’t know all that much. Every time we acknowledge what we don’t know, we somehow wash the windows of our perception to see what is, rather than simply what we think. The world outside of us is usually far more beautiful through no lenses at all.
Eve Eschner Hogan specializes in relationships and personal and spiritual growth as an author, coach, inspirational speaker, and retreat facilitator. She owns Heart Path Journeys (offering retreats), Heart Path Weddings, and The Sacred Garden, a peace sanctuary, all on the beautiful island of Maui. Her upcoming book is called The Eros Equation: How to Unlock the Love in Your Life. Look for it this fall. evehogan.com