Have you ever looked at someone and thought “man, they have it together” or “Oh man, they got to get it together”? I have, I will be the first to admit it. What I hadn’t thought about was the fact that I don’t know what is going on in their lives. To be honest, I probably didn’t even know them! What I saw though gave me the perception of my thoughts, which I assumed to be reality.
Perception is a way in which we become aware of things that may or may not be by using our senses; like vision. We often find ourselves confusing perception with reality. Reality is the state of which things actually exist. With it being so easy for us to confuse the two I had an idea to do a little experiment! Here is what I did. I took a selfie posted it on Facebook and asked what people saw when they looked at the picture.
Since we are all usually quick to come to conclusions on what we see, I thought this would be fun. I honestly expected to get some off the wall answers like “someone needing affirmations” or “a needy person phishing for compliments”. Let’s be real, someone thought it and just did not comment on it! I would have! To my surprise though, there were no such comments. Now everyone that commented on my photo knows me so there are no stranger comments.
Check out some of the comments I received:
“A women not afraid to wear red lip stick! And you look beautiful!”
“A strong, beautiful determined Jesus loving woman who sees the best in everyone.❤️”
“I see a woman who got her self ready to the fullest, despite the rain. Put on a cute shirt that complements her eyes, and a beautiful lip color to make it pop. But behind all that are eyes that are filled with love and passion and they are tired! 😘”
“I see a beautiful hard working mom & wife. A smile even when you are tired but still have to go on & face the day. Confidence with a side of sassy. Successful with a drive like no other. Glowing skin. Awesome hair. Eyes filled with love. Need I go on?”
Those are some pretty nice comments! Thank you to all who commented, you made me feel very loved! What I found interesting is that I had a few people comment on the red lipstick I wore and well as my strength (not physical). So, I want to dive into these a little because I think these perceptions are great examples. The red lipstick. I had put it on because I felt like I had to pull myself together. I had tried to straighten my hair and it was a puff-ball and couldn’t get a brush through it hardly and I had little makeup on (mascara), so I thought the lipstick would make it look like I tried! The strength that people know I have and that they see in me comes from years of knowledge. It comes for knowing the struggles that I faced growing up, or ones that I face now. That strength comes from somewhere deep down and resonates outward. It is a work in progress every day as I drop my kids off at school. It is a work in progress every day as I overcome my depression and anxiety. It is a choice I make to not let my weaknesses overcome me. That strength is in all of us! I love that this is what some saw when they looked at me!
Some other fun comments where about who they saw from years ago! I had a private message on this as well. As we grow older, we often get stuck in seeing people as they used to be because we lose touch and we hold on to what we know. What we have known of someone from the past may not reflect the reality of who they are today. I love holding on to memories of my childhood friends but let’s be sure we don’t judge them based on those memories either!
The reality of our perception is not always reality at all. When we see that person that is put together and looks confident, tell them they look nice. We never know what is going on under all the put togetherness. When we see someone looking a little rough, don’t assume they are having a bad day, maybe they are cleaning their house! Ask them what is going on, don’t ask if they are ok unless you know otherwise. You know that old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Our perception is the same concept. Let build a world that we uplift and find out the truth before perceiving things about others!