When Ari was little I used to watch her with a sense of amazement and curiosity. I still do. Sometimes I would wonder what she was thinking or what the world looked like to her. I would do things like pretend I could not read and try to see letters as mere shapes on pages or passing billboards. There were times the lyrics from the song Veronica by Elvis Costello would come in to my head, "Is it all in that pretty little head of yours? What goes on in that place in the dark?" I soon realized that as much as I might wonder I would never know what the world looks like to her. Actually, few of us even know what really goes on inside our own "place in the dark".
This week I had a moment of grace. A moment were you really see yourself, you see what you are thinking, you see what is driving your thinking, and you can no longer hide from the truth of what you see there. I learned that my mind is busy filling in details, making up stories, and proclaiming judgements and the rest of me is often along for the ride. I saw that the stories I make up center around one prevailing theme. I saw in some instances I am very busy looking for a culprit, so I can lay my moral outrage on them. I found that my head did this on its own, with very little information and lightning fast.
Its a funny feeling when you realize you can no longer trust your own perception. When you sense the filters you have are welded to the frame of your mind and that possibly the best you can do is keep noticing that you are not seeing reality but rather your filtered, skewed version of it. I suppose I should be a little more uncomfortable with the idea that my own perception is obviously tilted, but I have known this on one level for quite sometime, just not on the true seeing, feeling level that I have now.
Once you see yourself, see what your mind is up to, really see it, you can't un-see it. And this is where my next work begins. The work of being vigilant to notice my filter, not for purposes of shaming myself but so I don't throw shame at others.
(My two girls, this picture makes me want to snuggle them)
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