I’ve got this app on my phone called Google Goggles. I can take a photo of something, typically a logo of some sort, and it will launch do a web search and give me everything I ever wanted to know about that item. Pretty nifty. Of course, since this search is powered by Google, the results will have been filtered based on many variables – hidden keywords, sponsered links – lots of stuff that can skew the info and lead me into different direction. Its frustrating to attempt to get clean answers when your data has been run through filters that let you see only what they want you to see, or at least make it harder to get to the truth.
When we experience life, we often forget that the reactions we have are based on this exact principle. Everything we perceive has been run through our own filters, and those filters change the way we view the truth. Whether life is filtered through childhood traumas, moral beliefs, or emotional scars, we rarely get the opportunity to experience life unadulterated. Everything we’ve felt in the past has a tremendous effect on how we view our present circumstances and how we deal with the world. In essence, we all wear our own unique set of “goggles.”
It’s all about perception.
If everything I experience is bent through this prism of patterns and messages that are already in my head, it can be hard to trust my reaction. If Captain Wonderful doesn’t call me as often as I’d like, immediately that message is run through the “I’m-not-good-enough” filter and I start to feel miserable. Pretty soon, I’m convinced he doesn’t like me and I should just give up on the whole thing. Pretty crazy, right? It’s only after I ask for someone else’s perception that I can truly piece together the truth – a truth that probably has nothing to do with me.
Why is this important?
Having the courage to attempt to see around these filters and ask for a second opinion can be the very thing that saves us from ourselves. After all, we can’t all be crazy on the same day. Additionally, realizing that others have their own filters may be the key to building compassion; we can begin to understand why a coworker overreacted, why a family member was hurt by our seemingly innocent words, or why a child is afraid of the dark. And once we identify the fear goggles we wear, we are one step closer to removing them and seeing the truth.