How do you see it?
The other day, during a meeting with Phil, our Marketing Director, I was pondering a thought I’ve had many times: what if what I call green, you see how I see purple, but we both learned to call that color green – so it seems like we’re experiencing the same thing, but really what we’re seeing is vastly different from one another.
How would we ever know? There’s no way for you to see what I’m seeing and even if we tried to describe it “it’s a warm color” “it looks like ice” – our point of reference would still be based on the fact that that is what we’ve agreed on as a culture or that those colors are what we’re seeing fire as, or water as, or the sky as.
It trips me out.
And it solidifies for me the idea that we’re all experiencing life in such amazingly different ways – there really is no objective reality, just our subjective experience of it and then our collective subjective experience of it. We see things through our lenses we’ve been adding on since birth, but we don’t normally notice that’s what we’re doing because the lens is too close to us for us to see it.
Like when you’re wearing sunglasses, you don’t really notice them after just a few minutes of putting them on. They’re just there, and you’re just seeing the world through them, you’re not paying attention to the lens, how it’s changed how things look, and then what you’re seeing. Same with the lenses we adopt throughout life – we rarely notice they’re there.
Here are three ways to look beyond your lenses:
1. When someone does something you find objectionable, it’s worth giving them the benefit of the doubt. Not to say that some people don’t do horrible things, but most people are good. They’re just doing the best they can with what they know, and the lenses they’ve adopted, in the moment.
We can have compassion for people, even if we disagree.
We can forgive people, even if we don’t understand.
And we can do both of these things while maintaining our own integrity around how and what we allow in our lives.
2. What if we sought to understand where others were coming from, rather than furiously attaching ourselves to our own “rightness”? Maybe we could see that if we looked from their viewpoint it would seem so incredibly different and we’d be able to figure out solutions that work for everyone.
Then we could stop fighting, as a world, and start using our resources to solve the major issues that are upon us, all of us.
3. Work to release your lenses. Even though as we put them on these lenses seemed to be beneficial, to protect us and keep us safe, they aren’t real. Doing the deeper spiritual and personal work it takes to first be aware of them, and then methodically release them allows us to have a clearer connection the Divinity that is in us, others, and all around us. This is truth.
A dedicated meditation practice is a great way to start the process. If you’re new to meditation, try doing a guided meditation. Here is one I made, try it out:
When we take the time to see the world through other’s eyes, I truly believe that we’ll be on the path to peace.
You and me. This is a step. We can take it together.