What You See Is Not Always What I See

I’ve been struggling lately because someone I care about is having a hard time understanding that we all see the world through a different set of eyes, and it’s causing a serious breakdown in communication.  I appreciate that most times we see things the same, and yet we have entirely different views of the world around us at times.  This very thing gives us common ground to build a foundation on, but also provides a situation for us both to grow and learn more about ourselves and each other.

Based on our previous life experiences, good or bad, we each formulate our personal perceptions of what is occurring around us.  We take mental pictures and the pictures I come away with in my mind are not going to look the same as the pictures in anyone else’s mind, because no one can be forever standing in the same set of shoes at the same time.

When I first met my now ex-husband, we had a very interesting date that opened my eyes to this concept of “differing perceptions”.  We both had art degrees and knew how to use all the manual settings on our cameras.  So, one Saturday afternoon we headed into an old cemetery in my college town.  After a couple hours of wandering through the headstones, massive memorials, and park benches that sunny afternoon, we took our black and white rolls of film to a lab to get contact sheets.  That night, we sat and compared what we saw.  It was a very interesting.

Even though we both took pictures of some of the same objects, they were always different.  Different angles of pointing the camera resulted in the same scene appearing entirely different on film.  But, what was even more interesting was that even though we had different images on the paper, they all were compelling and told a story.  Each image…  each different perspective was beautiful and told a story.

What we both came away with that day was this… Even though we had different images on paper, different perspectives on what we saw, we both had a lot of respect for the art we created that day. 

We all see the world differently.  It doesn’t mean one person’s perception of a situation is right or wrong, good or bad, it just means it’s different and should be respected as different.  After all, if we all saw the world the same way, there wouldn’t be any creativity, inventions, or new ideas.  As my son would say, we would all be zombies (or sheep as some would say).  And, what kind of life would that be.   

What you see is not always going to be what others around you see, and that’s ok.  However, in order for it to be ok, we all should have respect for each other’s perspective of the world, and honor the art each of us creates through our life experiences.  Thinking differently is good.  It keeps us alive and aware.  It opens our minds to new possibilities every day.

Love and Light,

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