The Way We See Things

I am not sure where the intensity comes from. I have never been so clear on why we overthink or over-analyze. More to the point, I am not sure why we relive conversations in our head, which are painful, yet we revisit them frequently, like the plague of an unwanted guest that refuses to leave.None finds this helpful. At least, not really. but yet, most people can relate to rehashing a conversation in their mind and wishing they had said things differently

It has been said the reason behind the internal conversations and reliving old narratives is because there is a seed within our thinking that roots to an unresolved thought or memory, which in turn triggers an unresolved feeling of which we try to find the accountability, or better, we try to solve this by reliving the conversation to change the narrative in a self-preserving way.
The only problem with this is the event is gone and the past cannot be changed from the way it is.

I am not sure where this comes from or why it is that we think we need to be bulletproof and mistake free. I am not sure where the fear of vulnerability comes in or why ego takes place and charges us worse than the mistakes we made or the insults we hear.
If you have read similar thoughts about this subject from me then you have read my ideas about avoiding the thought machine.

“You have to get out of your own head, ” is what I was told.
“But how?”

I am not sure where the pressure to “Be” a certain way begins. Maybe this is a result from the inaccuracies of childhood programming. Maybe this is due to past events, which we hold in fear and keep in mind so that the same thing never happens again.

I was discussing a bullying problem with a young friend. I discussed a time when I was picked on and publicly humiliated.
It was tough to go to school. It was hard to show up. Each day, I had to try and find a way to save my face. I had to try and create an image to protect me. I had to hide behind a mask throughout much of my childhood and my teenage years. In fairness, I based this math and my subconscious predictions in my young adulthood too.
I never felt comfortable in crowds. I was always in fear of something publicly going wrong. I was afraid I would be the one in the middle and everyone around me would laugh or point and shame me the same way I would shame myself. This is where my social anxiety comes from. This is also where my trained opinions came from. I trace this to the root of my behavior in certain instances. This is why I reacted in certain ways. This is where bias is born and expectations come from.

My young friend related to this because although my young friend and I are more than two decades apart in age, the emotional outcome was similar, if not the same.
I have news for you, I said. I learned the truth is I will never be that kid in school again. I informed my young friend that I will literally never be in a classroom again. And if I am, it won’t ever be the same class with the same teacher and the same students. I will never be that age again. Literally none of that will ever happen to me again.
I will never see the people that treated me this way again either, which means it is safe now. This means I can let go of the shame I felt and the guilt I held for not being the person I wished I could have been.

First and foremost, I learned that my memory is not always so honest. I learned that my memory is shaded by my perception.
I relate this to seeing the world through a pair of shaded eyeglasses, which alters my interpretation.

There is an exercise I remember that helped me change the way I see things. This is exercise explains how our perception changes the way we see things.

Ready?
Imagine a clear blue sky. Can you see this? No clouds. No blemishes, just a picture perfect, clear blue sky, say like somewhere at a place where you enjoy the most.
Can you see it?
Now, if I were to hand you a set of clear eyeglasses, would the sky change?
The color would appear the same, correct?
Of course it would.

Now, if I were to hand you a pair of colored sunglasses, would the color of the sky appear differently?
Sure it would.

Take for example, if I were to hand you a pair of sunglasses with dark gray lenses that were shaded to be dim and murky, what would the sky look like?
I want you to think about this and then answer this question on your own.
The sky would look dark, murky, and gray, right?

Ready?
Next, if I gave you rosy red sunglasses and you put them on, what color would the sky appear to be now?

Think about this. Envision yourself looking upwards at the blue sky with a thick pair of rosy red sunglasses on.
What color would the sky appear to be?

Okay, last one. The sky is blue. You remember this, right?
Remember the colors? Remember how they mix?

Now I am going to give you a pair of yellow sunglasses.
You put them. You look up?

Now, what color is the sky?
Think about this. . .
Yellow sunglasses, blue sky, you put the glasses on, you look up.
Now,what color is the sky?

Yellow and blue make what? They make green, right?
Many people answer this way. They say the sky is green now, when in fact, the sky is still blue. The sky only looks green because our perception of the sky has been altered by the shades we see through.

This analogy makes sense to me. This helps me to make sense of past memories that have crippled or hurt me at my core. This is where I store my moral injuries. This is where P.T.S.D. lives. This is where the unresolved damages that flare up like an old war wound keep people shy and always ready.
This is where I store my old memories that have shaded my view, in which I look back at the moment of interest and see the tragic insult of pain.
This is where I store my unresolved sightings. This is where my fear collects all the data I’ve seen.

Keep in mind; I am not a doctor or anything like that. I am not a psychologist or a therapist. I am just someone that needed to find a way to relate to the information in my head to keep this from being so punishing .

I have memories, which I will leave out for now about things that happened to me as a child, which should never happen to a child. However, regardless to whether this should or should not happen, these things did happen.
If I think back upon the memory, I can feel a rush of adrenaline and uncomfortable fear beneath my skin. I can literally feel my skin flush as if my blood flow moved quicker through my body. The inside of my skin is flushed with an uncomfortable warmth, as if my body is going into a state of survival mode. I can feel the fear if I think about this. I can feel remember the shame. I can remember the imposition and violation of a boundary.

Why?
Why would this happen?
Why did this happen?

Is this the way people treat others?
Is this the way you are supposed to treat someone you love?

The answer is no, but yet, whether the answer makes logical sense or not, the fact remains that the violation did take place.

Now, did this shape the way I saw the world from a young age?
It could be.
Did this shade my vision like the exercise with the sunglasses?
Perhaps it did.

There are pockets of memory which are otherwise changed throughout the years of me being hurt. This happened, yes, however there are times when the magnitude of what happened was multiplied amplified by the shades of the way I saw the world and the way I saw myself.

One day . . .

I had to come to grips with what happened. I had to relive what happened. I had to realize this was not only NOT my fault, but this will not ever happen to me again. No one will ever cross that line again.
First, this will not happen because I have the ability to protect myself and furthermore, I will never be that child again. I will never be that helpless either, which means I have the ability (if I so choose to use it) to allow myself to remove the darker shades, look up, and enjoy the sight of a clear blue sky.

The only way I can defend me from my anxiety and troubled thinking is to understand where my thoughts come from. Once I learn more about my neural pathways, I can learn how they are altered by my perception. I can understand that in fact, not all circumstances are the same. I can, in fact, learn to adjust my thinking.

Not everyone is looking to get over. Not everyone is looking to hurt me. Not everyone is trying to gain an angle or steal from me. Besides, even if someone is out to get me, I am older now. I am grown. I have the ability to walk away set boundaries, and defend myself.

I cannot change the violations or the impositions of my past. But I can pardon them so that I can move forward and enjoy seeing my life without being blurred by an inaccurate view.

2 thoughts on “The Way We See Things

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