What is the difference between perception and reality? And why is it important to know the difference?
To learn the difference, you must first determine whether you are seeing things through the filter of perception.
Begin by asking yourself this question:
"Is what I am seeing verifiable by others?"
In other words, reality is when you look at the sky and see a cloud. Others are able to verify there is, indeed, a cloud in the sky.
Perceptional thinking would look like this: I am seeing a cloud in the sky and it looks like a clown. Another person would say, "No, the cloud looks like a train." The perceptional thought is not verifiable most of the time by another because even though they are also seeing the same situation, they are having a different experience.
It is the different experience that is perceptional thinking.
The next step is to check to see if what you are experiencing is, in part, connected to an emotion that is realistic or understandable based upon the circumstances, versus an emotional response based upon a harmful perception.
To determine this, ask yourself:
1. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being completely relevant, 1 being not at all; "How much of this emotional response pertains to this current situation?"
2. Using this same scale, "How much pertains to me historically, (i.e. reminds me of an experience in my past when I felt the same way)?"
If you find any of these emotions are pertinent to you historically, then sort out those emotions by telling yourself, "the percentage relative to the situation at hand is this amount ______________."
This will make it easier to realize how much your past beliefs or perceptions are influencing or clouding your reality in the moment. For example, the cloud in the sky is verifiable, but it makes you feel happy and the other person sad, because he had an earlier experience of being scared by trains, but you enjoyed going to the circus where you saw a clown.
Once you have determined what percentage is relative to the moment, the next step is to look at the emotional responses involved.
Are you angry, afraid, frustrated or feeling hopeless?
If there is any level of hopelessness, be cautious. This emotion is usually dependent upon past experiences.
Remember - you are always going to have emotional responses running through your system. Sometimes you will find yourselves in reaction, and that is normal. Even finding yourself responding emotionally, based upon the 'historical you', is normal and understandable.
The goal here is to understand how much emotional energy is being expended based upon past circumstances, versus your fears of the future. Expending emotional energy in either of these ways is understandable, however not always productive.
For example: "I am so angry with myself for I stubbed my toe because I was not paying attention." Your anger in this moment is understandable and on your scale of 1 to 10 it is a 10.
Or: "I am so angry with myself because I stubbed my toe and I always do that when I am climbing stairs, I never pay attention. Therefore I will never climb stairs again." In this instance, your emotions are a 3 on your scale. This means that only 3% of your anger and frustration is based upon the present occurrence, and you are making future decisions more based upon your past experiences.
Determining your emotional state using these steps will help you fine tune the question, "Am I making decisions based upon realistic thinking verses perceptional illusory thinking?"
Illusory thinking is usually dependent upon a historical influence, usually painful or traumatic, that is unresolved.
These are just a few steps you can take to help you see more clearly the difference between reality versus perception. Why do you want to accomplish this? In order to be able to look at any given situation at hand with a realistic view point. When you can accomplish this level of thinking, then the choices you make will subsequently be based upon reality. By then making those reality-based choices, you establish a dynamic creating influence that will produce results efficiently, magnanimously and powerfully. There is nothing more powerful, potent and efficient than Truth and Clarity.
Remember our saying, Clarity Creates!
blessings . . .