Like in The Matrix, although I effing hate that analogy, because, well, red pill, blue pill bullshit.
But they’re right. Even when they’re wrong, they have that perception part right.
Once you perceive your world a certain way, and commit to it, your experiences of the world will often conform to your desires and expectations.
You see, I’m a curious person.
Pretty much always have been.
I wandered the country when I was a young girl (15-16), befriending everyone I met, mostly because I was curious about them. My curiosity about people and their lives that were very different from mine drove me, and in some ways, made the world a very different place for me than for people who joined me here and there on my journeys.
What I called a “grand adventure,” they experienced as frightening or disturbing.
What I called a “fascinating person,” they called a weirdo or a creep.
And so on.
As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that part of my perception is in my nurture: how I was raised to give everyone respect and to be interested in their story.
And part of it is in my nature: I’m nuero-divergent, and don’t think like other people think.
Over the course of my life, I’ve changed many perceptions, and my world has changed in response to each.
I used to be curious like a scientist. I collected stories and adventures and people, but I didn’t really ever feel like I was part of them. I felt like I was an outsider.
About 13 years ago, I consciously chose to change my perception. I wanted to immerse myself. And I have. Now, I find myself both fascinated and enamored of humanity, and all of our foibles. I study people because I AM people, not because they are specimens to add to my flawed understanding of what humanity is.
I’m not gonna lie and say that changing perception is easy.
It’s actually quite uncomfortable, humbling, and even painful sometimes.
Or, it is for me.
I knew that people experienced the world differently than I did. And I wanted to experience that. I learned along the way that I will never experience the world like someone else. But I will experience the world differently like myself, depending on the meaning I attribute to it.
And that’s enough for me to pay attention to how I perceive things.
Have you had a perception change that also changed your experience of reality? I bet you have, even if it was a small one.
Maybe it was that not all people can be trusted. Or that humans will often surprise and delight. Maybe it was political beliefs, or religion. Or suddenly finding kink, and a whole new world opening up.
I’ll give you an example from my childhood: Santa Claus.
When I was very young, Christmas was magical, because Santa Claus was everywhere. My actual surname is Claus, so I got perhaps even more of it than many. My grandfather even played Santa at the local mall, and I “knew” it was because we were part of the family, and that’s just what we do. We uphold the Christmas spirit.
A bit later, as I grew older, my parents didn’t ever really come out to say Santa wasn’t real. They just started including me in what Santa REALLY is: The spirit of gifting to show love. Dad and I stuffed Mom’s stocking from “Santa”. Mom and I stuffed Dad’s stocking. And after I went to bed, I knew they filled mine.
My world had changed, because how I perceived it had changed.
And one more, from my adulthood:
I put on a pair of VR glasses for the first time. The VR was me standing on a small platform thousands of feet above the streets below, in a steampunk city.
While I felt no fear being where I was (I love heights), I literally could not make myself take a step off the “platform,” even though I knew that I was standing on a flat carpet in a room in a home.
My perception affected my brain, and my ability to take specific actions.
Since then, I have done similar experiences, and had no problem, but in that moment, I was able to marvel, to enjoy, but not to budge. My experience of my world was altered by my perception, and even after I took the VR glasses off, my reality was changed, because I had a very concrete example of how my brain could override what I want, regardless of my actual knowledge or reality.
What are your thoughts?
Are you willing to share a perception change that recreated your world? Especially one related to dating/connecting/kink?