So….I was giving myself a hard time recently because I haven’t been writing much poetry. This little rant was going on as I was working on putting together several broadcasts for Grace Independent. I was bitching and moaning and kvetching and generally making myself feel bad as I kept plugging away at the broadcast scripts.
It wasn’t until three days later (still working on the scripts) that it hit me. I have written over 200 pages of poetry for Grace Independent in the past year. That gave me pause and made me start to look at the other perceptions I was holding on to.
Perception is a funny thing. We tend to think that what we perceive is reality when it is anything but. Our perceptions are based in our expectations and experience. Just look at what happened during Iowa. Google Plus was a hoot to read. Depending on who was posting (and who they supported) their perception was always skewed to support their most rewarding belief. In the same way that I have noticed that on Facebook (and now on g+ since there are more people there now) that the people who post most often the passive aggressive status updates (that are never specifically directed at anyone) also are the people who share links about how horrible the world is, tragedies, and constant please to “copy and paste this as your status to show you care.”
Our perceptions not only create self-fulfilling prophecies, but they are revealed in every choice we make. I watched one person on G+ post, for 5 days straight, pictures of morbidly obese people with comments like “Too Funny!” or “No wonder!!” This same person then got off that kick and started posting in the defense of Ron Paul and the charges of racism, as part of the defense, the person pointed out how they did not have a prejudice bone in their body. They then got highly offended when others posted comments like, “oh really?” and “Could have fooled me.”
It would appear the person that we are most capable of deceiving is ourselves.
One of the things I am learning is that within the statements we make about what we are or are not lies the clue to our areas of self deception. Our identities and our perceptions of reality and intertwined as a kind of armor or masque that we wear, not to fool others, but to fool ourselves – to prevent our seeing our own reflection in a mirror. Instead, we choose to see the masque of how we would want to be.
One of the worst pieces of advice I have ever heard given to someone who is seeking to grow and change is the infamous “fake it till you make it.” Now, to force yourself to smile when you do not feel like it is one thing. There is a definite correlation between the muscle movement of a smile, people’s responses to a smiling person and an increased (slight) state of well being. But there is no correlation that faking an attitude, belief, opinion or motivation does anything but increase your sense of worthlessness.
Change and growth come through change and growth and a lot of the time it is a very difficult transformation process. But it is not an endless process. Letting go of the safety found in having preconceived perceptions and expectations can leave you feeling unmoored. But it is temporary, and worth it. Learning to meet life as it is allows you to make realistic and effective choices.
So I rewrite the message and realize, I have been incredibly busy writing poetry only – it is not important to me that the poems are out there under my name. They are written for a purpose outside and beyond my own life and I am starting to recognize just how much I have benefitted from this exercise.
I am really starting to like how this year is shaping up.
c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.