When things get a little too weird for me, this phrase gets me in a good space: “reality is subjective.” If everyone observed the same reality equally except for me, then I’d be feeling pretty left out, you know, but it’s not! If you and I observed the same situation, we both have subjective filters. I wear glasses for vision impairment, which innocently changes my perspective of reality, but let’s dig into this deeper still.
Let’s say I’ve made some mistake.
Chances are, depending on the severity of the mistake, I’ll feel bad about it for longer than I need to, and let that mistake explore the deepest caverns of my imagination. That imaginary mistake will wreak havoc like a virus to the body, infecting everything in its path, turning any good conversation or situation into something darker or more menacing. We’re our worst enemies when it comes to this sort of stuff, too, because I know for me, at least, I used to beat myself up over the most insignificant things.
I try not to do that anymore, which sounds a little callous.
That sort of guilt and re-framing is great for most situations because sometimes, you’re just wrong. However, if it’s something where you’re trying to stand up for yourself, the greater good, or – let’s face it, you’re being the bad guy/person to get it done – then it can be hard. Especially when it’s advocating something for yourself! Sticking up for yourself might be the hardest thing to do, sometimes.
What does that have to do with subjectivity?
Well, since we all could perceive the same situation differently, building up that empathy for how others perceive it can be very helpful. We can see that, hey, maybe that wasn’t the right approach. Or maybe, hey, that was the right approach, but the receiver of that [whatever] didn’t quite like it. OK. Let’s readjust our strategy. When we can take that focus and point it internally, to say, “yeah, I did the best I could given my current circumstances,” then we can accept things about ourselves that might otherwise linger longer.
Anxiety, for me, can cause me to act awkwardly.
That might lead to a mistake, some sort of misunderstanding, or something where I might over-analyze.
Those are the situations you need to drop.
There is nothing that can be done about certain things in the past, so don’t let them affect your future.
Let that wave of subjectivity ride over your anxiety-ridden imagination as you remember that everyone can and does make mistakes. Those who hide it are more likely to seem “cool” at that particular moment, but their cracks shine through more magnificently than those of us who have all of our flaws exposed. Writing this weekly column about addressing some of my bigger stress points, for example, forces me to realize just how flawed I am, and how that’s a good thing!
Making mistakes can help me realize that my reality is subjective, and that’s OK.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Thinking about how/why my life was “out of control” at that particular time. What’s nice is how, between writing and editing this, the major variable that was causing that anxiety has passed. There will always be stress in life, but some stresses are more manageable than others.|
|Photo: $10 art? It was at Pike Place Market.|
|Written On: August 22nd [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: September 7th [5 minutes]|