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Updated: May 13, 2022

Perspective and perception for better relationships - BEFORE you start looking for the special forever someone!

I am writing this with hope to bring awareness to how many marriages fail. I‘m not saying this to discourage people from getting married. On the contrary. My desire is to help marriages work. I am hoping that, even one person, will be more discerning when making the decision of with whom they choose to spend the rest of their life. Or better yet, find their connection with a higher power and become self-aware enough to confidently know their desires and who they are before getting married. Or, whether or not they WANT to get married.

I also hope to bring a better understanding of perception and perspective. Our perception (how we are viewing a situation) is determined by our perspective (our overall view of ourselves and everything around us). While consuming the following words some of you will feel a resonance. Some of you will feel inspired. Some of you may even feel sadness. And, some of you will judge me. I just hope that all of you see that each of us comes into a situation with our own perspective that impacts our perception.

So anyway, here we go…I became extremely intrigued by psychology while in high school. My intrigue was caused by research that showed me how much we are all alike, while at the same time, immensely unique. How there are fairly exact milestones that every average human reaches. How most of us respond to certain situations similarly, due to psychological impulses. And, sometimes we respond completely differently due to the way we were raised and the experiences we have had. How, even though we have so many similarities, not one person is exactly like another.

I have learned many things throughout my life, as we all do. By nature and nurture I am an inquisitive person (my dear friend used to call me Ms. Google). Not only do I want to know answers to basic questions like what makes the sky blue? I also want to know why a person can be so mean to another person? How is a person so nice? Why did someone respond the way they did? Why did I respond the way I did? How can I improve my reactions to situations?

I learned that I saw myself very differently than others saw me. Some things were better. Some things were worse. I also realized that it doesn’t matter how people perceive me. What matters is how I see me. What matters is how GUS sees me. Who is GUS? you might ask. Well, I have been truly saddened by the way religion has corrupted the name of God. The hypocrisy of it all, I believe, has led to a generation of non-believers. I have decided to start using the name GUS: God, Universe, Source. I was considering JUGS, but I’m going with GUS. Furthermore, given all of the attention on sexual orientation I will explain that I will use “He” and “His” when referring to GUS given that Miriam Webster states, “he” can be “used in a generic sense or when the sex of the person is unspecified.” Anyway, His perception of me is perfect. What matters is being connected to Him and feeling His love. I feel it in my quiet times of prayer or meditation. I feel it when I think I am unworthy. I feel it whenever I look at the beautiful sunset or the glorious mountains. I see it in the smiling faces of adorable little babies.

I believe it is imperative to our spiritual growth, or just growth (if you don’t believe in a higher power), that we realize how self-centered we are (which in my mind is completely different from being self-ISH, an example is being greedy). How could we not be self-centered? We come into this world helpless. We cry to get our needs met. The world basically revolves around our every needs. Some have their needs met better than others, but whether doted upon or not, our individual world is OUR world. Our perspectives are just that - ours. Sometimes our perspectives are spot on and many others can see our point of view and either agree or disagree, based on their perception. But, sometimes we come into a situation with a very distorted perception of what is actually happening. This is usually caused by how we are feeling on an emotional and/or physical level and/or tainted by our previous positive/negative life experiences.

There are so many factors that impact how we take in and respond to various situations. This is why self awareness is so key to finding balance in life. I do believe in a higher power, but this writing isn’t meant to focus on my religious or spiritual beliefs. It is simply to relay my experiences and how I am continually trying to improve who I am; continually trying to learn to build stronger healthier interpersonal relationships; continually learning how to keep connected to my higher power; continually learning to bring more peace into my life and the lives of others.

I have found there are basic things that truly matter. What matters is that I show His love wherever I go. What matters is that I am compassionate, empathetic, and non-judgmental. What matters is how I treat people or the feeling that I leave them with after our interaction. What matters is that I am open to seeing and hearing, not only others’ opinions, but others’ perspectives as well. If I only listen to their opinion without taking into consideration my own perception. I can easily be offended. I know this could most likely lead to anger. I do know I do not want to be angry. I choose to be happy and that starts with me - how ironically self centered.

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape 100 days of sorrow” - Chinese Proverb

By remembering to see things from another’s possible point of view, the way I react to a situation is so much better. Many people think I make excuses for others behaviors, but I am not making excuses. I am trying to better understand their actions. This helps me to have the ability to be more compassionate and more forgiving. After all wouldn’t I want others to do the same for me? I do want people to see Christ’s love within me. Whether you believe in God or not, the Bible is filled with wisdom. I know, I know, some of you are going to stop reading now, but I would implore you to push on through (to keep reading would implement the openness of which I was speaking earlier). I’m not trying to jam anything down anyone’s throat. My true objective here is to help as many people as I possibly can to find pure and real happiness.

Getting back to the Bible, it is basically a “how to” book. This is not meant to offend Christians, as I realize the Bible IS The Word of God. I am not making light of it. Instead, my goal here is to entice people who wouldn’t even consider the Bible to read the Bible. I am hoping they will reconsider their choice to blot it out without even looking into it and doing a little research for themselves. It can most certainly teach us to live a loving, peaceful, and joyful life. If we would just take that wisdom and follow it, our lives would undoubtedly be richer. I’m not saying it would magically make life a breeze, but a lot of life‘s “pills” would be easier to swallow. In my opinion, everything in the Bible is ultimately aimed at making our lives better. For instance, one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Matthew 7:5 (which may seem a bit harsh but sometimes we need a jolt!) “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” In other words, deal with your own issues before you start pointing out other people’s issues. While some may see forgiveness as some selfless act, I believe it is self-centered, but in a good way. For what is the result of our forgiveness? Our own happiness.

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” - Buddha

As Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” or as some say “Not forgiving is like drinking poison...” In most instances we are holding on to past hurts, while the person that we perceived to have wronged us doesn’t even remember it or even worse may not even realize they did it at all!*** Phew, talk about a run-on sentence. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, read the Bible, apply it to your life and all will be good. I’m not saying life will be a walk down easy street, but whatever is thrown at you will be easier to respond to with this wisdom. Easier said than done which is why we need the connection to... okay I said that’s not what this blog is about, even though I believe that is what everything is about. (Sometimes I wonder though, are we all reading the same Bible?)

I truly believe in the wisdom of Tilopa “Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.” I am grateful for Wayne Dyer (1940-2015) who brought this inspirational quote into the 21st century. The way it helps with perspective is to help us keep an open mind. When our mind is closed to others points of views how can we have good communication? How can we have healthy relationships? With an attitude of "My way or the highway"(which was a sign in my husband's mother's kitchen), how can we have an open mind? Or even more importantly, how can we possibly have an open heart? If we are attached like krazy glue to our beliefs and think that it's a fact that only our beliefs are true, not only can we not be open to hearing others points of view, we can't learn anything new! The answer is: we can't. Remember, we only know what we know. History has shown us that as time goes on, a lot of what we thought we knew turned out to be wrong. Flat earth anyone? Let's try to be attached to nothing and open to everything. Who knows, we may even learn a thing or two!

FOOTNOTE***I do recognize that not all instances are as mentioned. Some people do not forgive because it gives them satisfaction to know the other person is hurt by their not forgiving -which leads to another wormhole I won’t go into - at least not yet!

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