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Eleven.

(every time I hear 11, I think “these go to eleven.” haha.  it’s greater than 10 :))cloudy

It is a CLOUDY Washington day today.  I grew up here so the gray cloudy days just feel like home.  I actually sort of like them.  They’re “cozy.” (picture from this moment >>> ^^^^)

As I was driving the sophomore to high school this morning I saw the sun coming up behind the clouds and it lightened the sky.  It was pink for a moment.  And as the sun came up there was a little sliver of sky not covered by clouds and it was beautiful!  And then it rose into the clouds and the brightness and clarity that morning sun can bring wasn’t there.  It was filtered through the clouds to be more of a dim glow.  It was definitely lighter, but not clear, not bright, not sunny.

I frequently hear the weather people here talk about the “cloud cover” and today it is a perfectly cloud covered day.  It blankets the sky in that gray fluffiness and it obscures the bright clarity and warmth the sun can bring. 

Joy-CHooseI talk a lot about perception, and it’s because I’ve learned how important it is to be conscious of our thoughts.  In fact, I am continually telling my kids that they get to CHOOSE what to think, they get to CHOOSE how to react, they are the ones who CREATE the atmosphere around them.

We all have “cloud cover” in our lives.  We all have unique perception that filters over our judgment.  It is based upon our life’s experiences.  What happened as we grew up as children and then as we grow and progress through adult life; we base everything we do and see and act upon, through our unique perception of the world.

The thing about perception is, it’s what we THINK is happening based upon our cloud cover, or filter, but it might not actually BE what IS happening (and most often is not) … but we perceive the world through the filter that exists within us based upon all the stuff we’ve seen and gone through and perceived before any given point in time.

Any thing that happens is experienced differently by every single person who experiences it.

For example, the birth of my child sixth child and fifth daughter.  We had her at home in imagesthe bath tub.  My experience was different than my husband’s, which was different than my mom who was in the room with us, which was different than my kids who were out in the family room, which was different than the midwife who was standing there … etc.  Each of us lived the same experience, the birth of my daughter.  But each of us have completely different perspectives and filters through which we perceived that experience.

For me it was beautiful and hard and relaxing and my BEST birth experience.  It was fast.  It was intense.  For my husband, (and I am just projecting what I imagine he felt, I don’t know this is his real experience necessarily) it was stressful and he worried about me and the baby and the kids. For the midwife, she was focused on the medical aspect of it and it was VERY different through her midwife filter.

Every person can have the same experience and experience it in a completely individual and unique way.   In fact, every person WILL experience what they experience in a completely unique way because we are all unique!  We are each very different with different levels of cloud cover and filters through which we see the world.

The truth or reality that exists is absolute.  It is what is.  But no one sees it through perfect clarity because there is ALWAYS the cloud cover.  The filter of each person’s life experiences colors how they see any given moment.

perception-lauraingallswilder-amyjalapenoSo how is it helpful to understand this?  I can only tell you why I think it’s helpful.  It has helped me see and understand that what I choose to see may not be what is.  And that what another person chooses to see is equally not necessarily truth, it’s just their version of the truth they experienced filtered through their cloud cover.

I spent many years people pleasing.  And I would own another’s perception of me every time.  What they saw in me?  I took it as truth.  And I used it against myself in a very real way that undermined my own perception and didn’t allow me to fully be Honor.  I believed what people saw and how they treated me and I took it for truth.  I didn’t understand that their perception was filtered through cloud cover that had NOTHING to do with me.  It was only THEIR perception.  Not necessarily truth.

When I began to disengage from the perception of others, I was able to allow myself to trust what was in ME.  There’s a definite disconnect if a person can’t even trust their own judgment … it is ESSENTIAL for each of us to be able to trust our instincts.  It is our personal guide.  I spent a majority of my life worrying more about what others thought of me and their perception of me and any given situation, than what I thought of myself or the situation.

There is a peace that comes in understanding that we all have a filter.  And it’s ok to see the world as you see it, but it’s not necessarily what IS.  That goes for me, that goes for every other person who exists.  We each see what we see through our filter.

And so I can understand this and then know that what others think of me, is about them.il_570xN.274169861  It’s not about me at all.  They see what they see based upon what’s inside of THEM.  I don’t have to own their perception of me at all.  I can see that it’s how they believe, and respect that, but I do not have to own it as what IS for me.  What IS for me, is how I choose to see.

I choose to see the divinity in all.  I choose to see the beauty in the world.  I choose to see love everywhere.  I choose to try to filter all things through THAT perception.

Let’s get real, sometimes it’s not that easy.  And sometimes I wish I could have a do over.  Sometimes I react to something based upon a deeply ingrained aspect of my cloud cover and how I filter the situation is not helpful.  And then afterward I see that I did it, and that I filtered it through my “misperception” filter, and I have to rework it through the “love filter” which is a more accurate filter of what is.

Because what IS, is beauty and love.  That is truth. That is reality.  That is the God created version of the world that exists.  Unchangeable.  All in all.  Love and unity and beauty.  THAT is the filter through which I choose to perceive.

So when I see that I’m beginning to react to any given situation through the cloudy gray filter of my misperceived and continually egoistic mind … I can stop, readjust a little, and CHOOSE to filter it this other way.  I have to choose it though.  I have to not allow it to go through the overused misperception filter and choose to filter it through the love filter … until the day that it just automatically goes through the love filter because it is my new normal way to perceive the world.

It’s a conscious choice, until it’s a habit and the natural reaction.

We can change the filter!  We can choose to filter through the grayness and clouds, or lighten t2c149ad15b72558579f269f671d885aehe sky a bit and choose to have more clarity through seeing it in the love “sunshine and bright sky” way.

It’s up to you how you see it.  It’s up to you how you react to any situation.  It’s up to you to project all the negative garbage you’ve ever experienced onto everything you do orOR! you can consciously readjust and believe in love.  You can believe in goodness and LIGHT!  You can KNOW that the sky is bright with warmth and clarity and THAT is your reality.

And it only takes going through a consciously chosen NEW filter to see the world in that way.

Love is a choice.  Love and joy are the more pure reactions to the miraculous nature of life.  It certainly FEELS better to love and see love and spread love.

So I’m going to do that.  I hope you’ll think about doing it too.

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