We’ve all experienced that one friend or lover who we just KNEW was a good person, and we convinced- even confabulated- to believe that its true. Then that person betrayed our expectations, let us down or really, just acted to his or her true character. The illusion was lifted- suddenly-and realization kicked in. The “wow” moment. Or the “How could I be so stupid/naive/blind” moment. At once everything became so damn clear.
Better late than never, so they say…
But really… what is this space… this nebulous/cloudy/illusive space before realization… that makes us feel so certain, and sometimes aggressively defensive? Is this about knowing… or is it about not knowing enough?
Is it about proving something to those around us; maintaining a facade or image? Or is it deeply embedded in a more daunting fear of facing and overcoming our mindset, habits, and circumstances.
Perhaps society is responsible for making us too concerned with how we appear rather than astutely aware of who we actually are/what we actually need/how we actually feel.
Esse est percipi, says George Berkeley; to be is to be perceived. Let’s say he arguably places the power of identity into the hands of the observer. And perhaps we define ourselves by how we are viewed or perceived (from the past, in the present, and for the future- either way, we all seem to burden ourselves with a need to fulfill expectations/impressions/perceptions).
This need is profound in so many ways, especially as trends of massclusivity and media-driven ideals continue to define society in macro and micro terms. What happened to introspection and analyzing our decisions so to not make the same mistakes over and over and over… in this age of information overload and the critical need to feel plugged in to the network, we somehow lose the ability to pause and rethink things or question ourselves. We’re teaching our students and kids and peers to do the same; the result becomes detachment from ourselves and detachment from one another.
So who are we, really?
And at what point can you or I overcome the perceptions of others? How many times have we seen or heard stories like Chris Gardner‘s and felt intimidated by it. Could you pull yourself to your feet after losing everything? His path from homeless to millionaire is beyond comprehensible for so many of us… but why?
What’s holding you back from truly realizing your potential? What’s holding us all back from helping one another be real for a change… face our fears… reinvent ourselves… overcome hesitation and embrace possibility?
“You are exactly where you are meant to be in life, right now.”
This thought puts a heavy responsibility on those of us who are writing and reading and thinking about the need to change/do better/move forward.
A sense of urgency, even.
And so the challenge begins… to follow your intuition from the start, and not suffer through the sticky, miasmic, space that lingers before realization sets in.