Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What do you see?

My friend Mark, over at Mark is Musing, is immersed in a conversation about 'truth'. His. Hers. Theirs. What was. What wasn't. And anyone else's who takes the time to chime in and share their truth too.

It's the thing about truth that I know to be true. No matter my 'truth', yours will always be different.

No two people can see the same thing, same person, same situation exactly the same. Everything we see is filtered through our experiences, beliefs, eyes, nose, perspective of past, position in the present and outlook of the future. Everything we experience is filtered through our past experiences and the beliefs we formed in the there and then which we've carried into the here and now. And those beliefs will either limit our lives, or open us up to new horizons.

It's all in how we 'see' the world. It's all in how the light filters through our eyes, revealing the past, shadowing the future, lighting up the present.

It's all in our 'I'.

This 'truth' was evident last night at a course I was teaching at the homeless shelter where I work. I gave the class an exercise called, "I Am Here Now".

You can try it too!

Divide a sheet of lined paper down the middle.

Breathe deeply. Think about your life right now in the here and now. Feel the feelings. On the left side of the page, write a list of feeling words to describe your life right now.

Now, imagine yourself a year in the future, living almost the same as you're living now, having done nothing overt to change your circumstances now. How will you feel about your life?

Everyone agreed -- they'd feel the same or worse about their lives now if they did nothing but what they're doing today.

If I do what I've always done, I'll get what I'll always got.

Beneath the list of words, I invited the class to write at least five things they could do, starting right now, to make change in their life that would take them a step closer to their goal of leaving the shelter.

Imagine your life one year in the future, after having done those five things. Close your eyes, imagine it and imagine how you'll feel. Now, on the right hand side of the paper, write those feelings down.

Everyone agreed, they would not be feeling the same if they took steps to make change happen -- regardless of the 'success' of the steps, they would not be feeling the same.

The steps don't have to be 'big'. They have to be active.

It was the key, the group decided, active engagement in the process of change. In that active engagement, they would feel more successful, more capable of creating the life of their dreams, more involved in their own journey.

Because, the truth, no matter how the group looked at it, was -- the world constantly changes but their lives don't change in the direction of their choosing until they become engaged in the process.

Ask yourself, the question, When my life is ideal I am...

One man answered, 'content'. Another, 'peaceful'. another, 'living on a beach'.

No one is ever static, I told the group. When we are not taking steps towards our destination, towards our dream or goal or vision of life outside the shelter, out comfort zone, our limiting beliefs, we are taking steps away from our destination, our dream, goal or vision.

One man piped up, "yeah but"... and he listed the things that could happen to limit his life if..., how when he gets off work and feels discouraged and all he's got is twenty bucks, then the best thing he can do is go to the store and buy a can of soup and a six pack. 'Cause that's the reality of the twenty bucks, he added.

Maybe that's true, I countered, -- but where has the six pack got you in the past? Does it take you closer to having more of what you want in your life or less?

And there's that truth thing.

In his perspective, all he sees, based on his experiences and beliefs, is the limitations of his life tied up in a twenty dollar bill and it's buying power of a can of soup and a six pack.

What I see is what I get to experience.

What I tell myself is true, becomes my truth.

...even when the truth, doesn't become me.

Sitting on my side of the desk, standing in front of the class from a place of having moved beyond the despair and horror of being completely lost and 'homeless' into my life today, I see possibility.

What do you see?

Do you see a year from now feeling the same as you do today?

Or is your truth wrapped up in a package of delight waiting to be unwrapped as you see the truth of your limitless possibilities when you see beyond the limiting beliefs that would have you believe, the truth about you is floundering in where you're at today?

Truth or lies -- we create the story of our life in our minds and then we act out that 'truth' for all we're worth.

What if, we create the story of our life by spreading our wings and flying free of limiting beliefs we hold to be true, simply because we've never taken the action needed to fly?

What if, the greatest truth of each of us is.... we are born to be free to be all that we are when we let go of grounding ourselves in beliefs that don't support us when we spread our wings and fly?


Joyceann Wycoff said...

Thanks! Exactly what I needed to read this morning. Love the 5 Things exercise ... I did it and can feel my wings unfolding.

Maureen said...

You presented an excellent example in using the exercise, which, of course, all of us might apply to break out and, as you say, fly.

CZBZ said...

I love an essay that combines the pragmatic (the "I am here" exercise) with possibility & inspiration.

This is a great article, Louise. Thank YOU!

I'll find a piece of paper and try it right now.


Hope said...

thank you, Louise! this is an exercise i will present to my family.

I can't believe how clear my life path appeared when i finished it. Again, thank you!

wonderful post! to find out how people think and what is on their minds, their perceptions and idea's etc. is so interesting

truth... thought provoking and stirs the philosopher in me.

thanks again.

oh, and what is with this January weather we are having? Good grief, hasn't anyone told mother nature that it's March already! :)

have a great day my friend

L.L. Barkat said...

I don't even see the same thing the same, often. :)

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for the mention of my truth-wrestle. It continues, but with a clearer sense of who I am.



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