We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. ~Anais Nin
I’m not sure what this says about me, because when I glanced at this sticker in the grocery store, I thought it said “Fairy Traded Bananas.” How whimsical, I smiled, pausing to picture tiny fairy farmers bringing their produce to market.
After taking a second look and reading the label as it was, I got to wondering how often I do that. How often do I look at something or someone and think I know what I’m seeing? And based on what I think I see, I then form judgments, and from there I add some narrative. Emotions are quick to follow, and before you know it, I’m engaging with whatever or whoever it is from within a closed universe of reality, my closed universe of reality.
In this way, I have carried on entire relationships, hidden in embarrassment, been the hero of many stories, suffered hurt feelings, lashed out in anger over perceived wrongs, come to the rescue of people who, now that I think of it, might not have needed any help, and lived numerous versions of my childhood.
We all do it to varying degrees. We are a species that lives for the most part in our minds. The question, to me, is not whether we can stop our minds from spinning out tales, but rather whether we can catch ourselves when we do it and take a step back to consider how accurate our perception might be. Can we observe how our minds work, and explore their pathways with curiosity and compassion?
Can we, even for a moment, step outside the story and look afresh at the world around us, the things we see, the people we meet? In that moment, we might find ourselves surprised, and perhaps even delighted. Although, I confess, I was disappointed to realize that fairies had not produced the bananas. Oh well.
Come with me leave your yesterday your yesterday behind
And take a giant step outside your mind