I am the worst movie person you ever did meet, in the sense that I just do not watch a whole lot of movies. In fact, it might be a fun game for you to ask me if I have seen a movie, because chances are, I have not. I have a handful of movies I love, and of course have seen *some* classics, but ask me if I have seen a movie and I probably have not. Star Wars? Harry Potter? Braveheart? Anchorman? I have not seen any of them!
My boyfriend wanted me to watch Edward Scissorhands last weekend and I resisted because I am not the biggest fan of scary movies. I am not one for creepy people sneaking up and scaring each other, especially with some scissors that could do some serious cutting and damage. He countered that Edward was not a bad guy and he thought I would like it. I couldn’t wrap my head around this thought as I KNOW that when every Halloween comes around his face is plastered everywhere with the creepy association.
I ended up watching it and I was in complete shock because for the last 25 years (yes it was made it 1990) I thought Edward Scissorhands was a horrible villain that cut people up with his hands. And as it turns out, he is just completely misunderstood, judged solely by his looks and different upbringing. Halloween has been encouraging his villain like appearance for years, and I fell right into the trap. The same trap that we all fall in when we go about our days and lives making assumptions and judgements about the world around us.
I couldn’t help but be reminded that perception is everything.
We choose how we view the world. We choose how we view our circumstances and we choose how we view others. We judge without really knowing and we judge with out even bothering to learn.
This is what dictates our views and approaches towards life, relationships, and how we view ourselves. In the book, The Blue Zones, there is a passage about an American visiting Costa Rica, who meets a man who loves to play his guitar, drink beer, spend time with his family and amigos, and fish. The American questions why he doesn’t try to turn fishing into a business, to make more money, to be more successful and to have more time to do things he wants to do. The Costa Rican man explains that if he had more time he would play his guitar, drink beer, spend time with his family and amigos, and fish. He would do the things he is already doing.
I love this scenario because there are two completely different perceptions here. I don’t think either one is wrong or right, but you can choose either view, as long as the view suits you. I think this is a huge part in our own personal happiness. The American man wants more money and success to do the things he wants and the other man find happiness in what he already is doing.
The key is, we have the choice.
That can be one of the hardest things to accept, admit, or take personal responsibility for, but we can choose to view situations with gratitude and love, or we can choose to view that everything is happening against us. The trouble with viewing the latter is that it often leads to a great deal of unhappiness and misery, when we feel the world is out to get us. I do not know about you but I am all about lessening misery and increasing happiness.
I find the best way to do this is by practicing gratitude and not making assumptions or judgements. By using these key tools we set ourselves up for the opportunity to choose how we view everything arounds us. Good or bad. Happy or sad. A challenge or opportunity. We have the power to choose.
And let me tell you, to have this power is really amazing! It helps us create the lives we want without having to depend on anyone else for our own happiness. I find it to be a constant practice, as yesterday I was not having the best day, feeling a bit sorry for myself and falling into victim mode. I had a moment where I told myself. “Ok Adele, you can sit here and be miserable about things you feel are not going well today. OR you can change your perception about this day and change the direction it is going.” I took the power and with an hour my mood completely shifted.
Working on this practice is the way we shift our energy, the way we change our perception, and the way we change our lives. It is the way we view the world and life around us and if you are not careful you might spend 25 years judging and assuming, without ever really learning and knowing, others and yourself.