The filters through which we view our lives explain how we have such disparate views of the same experience.

Because what we refer to reality is basically our perception of current events fueled by our past experience or what we interpreted from a past experience or what we were told by authority figures we trusted.

Our realities sometimes prevent us from seeing each other. In one of my favorite televisions shows, siblings separated by circumstances beyond their control, discovered their mother had not abandoned one for the other, but had abandoned them both.

They had both created narratives around their mother’s absence based on incorrect information and these competing, incomplete stories had prevented them from moving forward in healing their relationship. Their realities

The realities taught to us may prevent us from empathizing with the experience of those with whom we share neither race or gender. The whitewashed “history” of the United States most of us learned in an education system that values White supremacy, has made it easy for some Americans to accept as fact the manufactured reality spouted by those currently holding political power in our country. Their ability to dismiss even video evidence that contradicts their reality is an alarming example of how our perceptions of reality are impacted by our own blind spots, biases, and bigotry.

Our reality sometimes prevents us from seeing our own experiences clearly. I’ve learned that everything I think I know about myself is really just a part of my story, developed over time in response to my interpretation about what was happening to me. And I find that when I look closely, when I pull the pieces apart, when I seek clarity about certain aspects, sometimes the narrative and what I have identified as reality changes.

Our willingness to take a closer look at ouselves individually and collectively is how we grow.

“We live, embrace and put to rest our dearest things, including how we see ourselves, so we can resurrect our lives anew.” ~ Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening