“becoming aware of something via the senses”
Have you ever noticed that a memory a friend shares – and you were there – most of the times isn’t remembered by you the exact same way? Have you ever had a memory from your childhood and when you shared it with adults that were there… it was nothing like you remembered? I have memories from my childhood like that. Why? It’s because of perception.
We each have our own filters… developed by our own experiences, our personalities, the different stages of life we’re at and the understanding we had at that moment and of course our imagination, the mind is a tricky thing and the Bible calls the heart wicked. They all play a part in how we think we’re being treated, how we perceive the event and how we remember what went on.
Have you ever said to your child, “No you can’t do that!” and they react, “You don’t like me, you never want me to have any fun!”. Did you as the parent actually say… “I don’t want you to have fun so I’m not letting you…”? No, but because of their childish mind… they hear you say another thing. Have you ever used a stern voice and they think you’re yelling at them? Have you ever said to a teenager something that they totally misunderstood, took the wrong way and reacted from it, determined they were in the right and you weren’t?! Why? Perception… “becoming aware of something via the senses”… based on the mental discernment of a 9 year old or a teenager… hmmm. Get my point?! Did you know that the part of the brain that controls reason, doesn’t develop until around the age of 21?
Does that mean you don’t believe a child or a teenager when they tell you something happened to them, NO! that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m not talking about violence or abuse in any form. I’m talking in specific about what people in our lives have said to us in our past, etc. Words and not actions. I think before we share our memories of our childhood/teenage years… we should ask the adults that were present… just for some clarification in case our perception was a little off. Perception and reality can be two different things.
The same thing can be said of adults at different stages and walks in life… do you remember first hearing about tithes and offerings and thinking, “He just wants my money” but through time and you digging into the Word for yourself, you suddenly have the revelation that what the pastor was saying was truth. Suddenly the next time the offering plate goes by… there’s a different thought in your head followed by a different response. Your perception is based on your senses and the knowledge/revelation you have at that particular moment in life.
Perception effects every area of our life, from our conversations on email to the way someone looks at us across the room. Our filters are always in play. This is why it is so important to fill up on the Word, have accountable relationships, continue to walk in love, to never react – Selah – and then respond, and never take offense to anything – ever. You never know… it may have just been you.
Good stuff Shash!!
Good stuff and I would add that perception is most skewed when the perceiving one believes “it’s all about me”. Children believe that, but as they are raised up the way they should go, they grow and develop healthier perceptions. Some adults don’t though..the world is still all about them and their perceptions are just as off as adults as they were when children…
You mentioned that when wondering about our perceptions from childhood, we should question the adults in their life to ensure that they have perceived correctly…this could be dangerous. If the adults they are questioning have their own skewed perceptions, and/or have not taken ownership for the way they raised their kids, a lot more wounding could happen when they tell what “really happened”, from their perception or place of defensiveness or denial…this will leave the person even more confused and second guessing themselves about what they perceived happened in their childhood….
One more thing…it is important for us to know that for each of us, what we perceive, we believe to be true…if we each communicated with that understanding, we would know that it’s not so important that you get what I meant, as it is for me to get how you interpreted it…taking the time to ensure that we get one another’s perceptions is just one of the building blocks to the “one anothering” kind of love we are each called to