Colored Reality!

We see what we want to see…perversion, obscenity, liberalism, secularism or piety, many things, if not all; depend on the way we perceive things.

Perception can be deceptive; it can manipulate reality and color it the way you want to. Grey can look black and white can look grey, if your eyes are tilted towards negativity. Many things we see are contextual and but everything we see is perceptually diverted towards our own line of thinking.

You must be wondering that how can our perception be manipulative? But sadly it is and the kind of manipulation you see here is the unconscious manipulation. The manipulation is the addition of personal ‘tinge’ to everything you observe, visualize, implicate and foresee. This personal tinge is an all encompassing and translucent sheath which curtains everything around us. The curtain has components of culture, religion, context, experience, relations, emotions, persona etc. But the curtain is pronounced in its impact when it adds shades of grey and whites to your ‘expectations’.

Let’s review an example:

A lady goes to the market and buys something really heavy (in terms of physical weight). She’s barely dragging her shopping bags over the floor to her car and there comes a gentleman in the scenario. He perceives that girl to be in a difficult situation and his chivalry probes him to help her. He steps forward and asks “Hey, can I help you in carrying that stuff to your car?”

I assume you all perceive it to be a situation of a cordial gentleman, offering a helping hand to a troubled girl. But what if the girl scolds him and in fact shouts at him for getting in her way? Or perhaps the girl snaps at him or ignores him completely?

This is where the girl’s perception manipulated an otherwise simplistic scenario. It doesn’t mean she’s pugnacious or frustrated rather we have to dig deeper before judging her.

She was a girl brought up where being a ‘girl’ was considered equivalent to being ‘vulnerable’ & ‘useless’. She was laughed at, judged and even ridiculed by her family and relatives for being a female. It’s these experiences which then accumulated to create her perceptions. She started perceiving every person’s smile as a mocking attempt on her gender.

Rose Colored Glasses

Now, when this gentleman asked to help her, she was bound to perceive it in accordance with her previous experiences. Her heart pumped faster thinking this was another attempt to humiliate her. She didn’t want to feel weak and that’s what precisely a helping hand meant to her.

Now, after looking at the perception formation of this girl, I’m sure you understand the functionality of perception. We often judge and sometimes ourselves misperceive other’s intentions based on this manipulation. So from now on, try to avoid the manipulation, think about the situation in an exclusive context before jumping to conclusive judgments! :)

Teen Years & Perception of Life

We all know the basics of socialization, observation and learning. Almost every literate person either knows the technical terms or at least understands the phenomenon. Socialization contributes the most to the personality development of any individual.

‘Personality’ i.e. the amalgamation of core values we internally follow and the ones we externally project. Both types of values can be different or the same, but mostly the ideal is somewhere in between.

According to Erickson these core values/schemas are developed and fashioned, according to the given circumstances, throughout one’s life. But the most important period of this value formation is the in between the age of 14-19. Yes! This is the time when you develop your perception towards the world. You learn to get outside your limitations, comfort zone is no more an issue and you yearn to conquer the peer groups around you with your budding talents. The quest for an ideal and relatable peer group is the critical part of this phase. The camouflage of childhood and introversion is something which ought to be broken at this turning point of your life.

These “early teens”, aren’t we all too naïve to understand the implications attached with the actions of this age? We don’t realize that the values we observe, the friends we make, the distress we face and the attention bouts of our teen years will be cardinal in shaping the basic contours of our life.

These contours of your thoughts impact each and every move of your life as they become a part of your schema. A group of friends you couldn’t fit in? A competition you lost due to your under confidence or may be the excruciating comments you got at your dressing sense?  All of this has an impact. Though it could be the opposite but it’s the painful experience which lingers throughout your life. Becoming a part of schema implies that as your core value it will be the basis of your every decision.

Hence, Erickson made this theory to emphasize the past’s impact on future and got all the appreciation in the world. But he forgot to explain that is there a way to undo your negative perceptions?  You can’t spend your life in misery just because you were all fat and unacceptable at the age of 18? You can’t be forever alone if you didn’t have friends in your teens. Nobody is ready to accept a pessimistic perception for eternity just because of some mishaps, few appalling memories or even slightly lonely experiences!

Are memories reversible? I don’t think so, but I can propose a solution to replace old perceptions with new ones. The solution is difficult, as perceptions formed over a long period of time can gradually become a part of your innate being. But the process can be inverted only if one tries to overcome those memories by making new ones. My point here is that you can undo the perception by developing a new and more pervasive one.

For instance, you were mocked and underestimated due to any reason in your early teen. Therefore, you established that ‘people will always ridicule me and underestimate my abilities’. Now, to break away from this basic thought you need to re-establish this perception. Stand up for your rights and keep on standing until you achieve the reward you believe you deserved. You may be broken sometimes, torn again by the society or discouraged by your own ego. But be staunch and this will terminate your old self image, the notion of underestimation will be modified in your life at least.

This process is harsh and you may face resistance not only externally but also internally. But this demonstration of will power can lead to satisfaction and contentment for the rest of your life.

So, next time when a sad memory flashes before your eyes or your subconscious tries to bring you down, don’t surrender rather reinstate!

 

What God has chosen for us?

I opened my eyes, stared at the sky, gave a sarcastic smile and turned over. My eyes were moist and small drops of tears running down my cheeks, but I managed to hide my face in the fusty grass I was lying on.
What was I doing? Was I trying to question or humiliate nature….then why were my eyes wet? I know exactly the state I was going through! I was unhappy; rather sorrowful or may be loathed my current condition. I blamed God for all my disasters and my sarcasm was just an instrument to show my inner anger. I thought that all my dilemmas were His scam and I was as innocent as a newly born baby in her mother’s lap.
We all go through this phase of emotional trauma, where we are left with no way out. Hence, the only way to vent out our frustration is to blame The Almighty for it.

Then I felt something on my shoulder, something pouring down. I turned back and it was raining. Small droplets poured down and slowly my whole anxiety started flowing with the cold water. I like a cliché imagined, it wasn’t rain rather the clouds were crying with me.

Drenched in water, I walked with heavy steps in the torrential rains. As few droplets turned into many, the clouds also went from being dark to darker. Wherever the dim ray of light tried to enter, the lightening would yell and command it to hide in the clouds.

No light….not a single ray of it! Just like my life huh…held in the shackles of darkness. The nature was showing me a mirror image of my own emotions, ah! It was making fun of it. And it gave me the right to humiliate and mortify it without hurting my conscience. I was taking revenge though I knew I couldn’t hurt or harm the nature and The Almighty ruling it. But all I knew was that this vengeance could provide me some sort of relief.

But as more and more rain poured down on my apprehensive soul….I felt more and more relieved. My sense of anger started to disappear in the flow of the salty water on my skin. The rain drops in fact seemed to absorb my worries leaving my mind afresh. Now, I realized that how wrong I was in perceiving this rain as a tool to demean my condition by Almighty.

It wasn’t demeaning or mimicking me rather it was there to wash my tears. The droplets not only absorbed my sorrows but also brushed away my tears. My head was lighter and my soul was cleaned of all the tensions I had.
May be that is how a difference of perception can alter the way we perceive Almighty’s blessings. This is how God sends us angels and we consider them demons.

‘I agree that sometimes it’s so difficult to understand what God has chosen for you. But whatever it is….it’s the best for us’