What we perceive isn’t always what is. I have noticed lately that it is incredibly easy to listen to what someone says and hear something very different. I am listening with damaged ears, and this is something so many of us seem to do.
For example: A woman is sitting down. A man walks in the door. “The dishes aren’t done. . .” he says. The woman, feeling that her husband find her inadequate, gets angry and defensive. It has been a very hard day and she has been working nonstop.
The man had, the whole time, the intention of saying, “The dishes aren’t done. That gives me a chance to do them. You’ve been working so hard!”
Many of you may think that most of us would interpret this statement the same way as she did. And maybe he could have phrased it better, and maybe he didn’t know what else to say. But the point is that she heard what she was expecting to hear based on her understanding.
This is a problem in communication and relationships. How often do each of us look for love in a certain way, and not notice that the people in our lives are giving it to us, but it is not how we expected? Just as our listening can be broken, so can our ability to notice love and to realize we are loved. It’s a perception problem.
I hope that, today, we can each go through the day trying to perceive what is, separated from our expectations. I hope we can pause and just think, hmm… what else could have been meant by that? And I hope we can give our loved ones the benefit of the doubt if they’ve been trustworthy in the past. Don’t give up if you don’t get it right. It is not easy. But I think that even knowing that our perceptions tend to break down can help make the day a little better as we realize there may be more good and love in our lives than we see.
And healing from some of the roots of the confusion can be done in the long term. It is a process. We don’t have to get it all right. It will take some time.
May God bless your day.