This is a great example of perceptions.
I arrived in Greece to the following comments – all made within three days.
- You look well, have you put on a couple of kilos?
- You look well – you’ve lost some weight!
- Oh I like your hair, it was blonde last year?
- You look younger this year!
- There’s something different about you but I don’t know what it is
- I keep looking at your hair, something’s changed but I don’t know what
Of all of these comments the truth is that I’ve had my hair cut by about 6 inches. My weight is about the same. My hair has been brown for a couple of years.
Taking any of these comments personally would be insane. My reply has been to say – oh thank you! apart from the hair colour when I answered that it was brown last year. The comments are made by other people’s minds comparing their flawed memory of me from last year with what they see in front of them and then finding something doesn’t tally and then needing to organise it and know what it is.
I do it too – I look at people and think oh they’re fatter, thinner, older, younger, more tired, more energised etc, than they were last year – my mind comparing them against a flawed memory and wanting to categorise them and makes things neat. It’s what we’re taught to do so that we feel in control of stuff (that’s another HUGE blog subject for another time). But I don’t spend so much time taking any of those comments that pop up seriously. I have realised that it’s just my commentator aspect wanting to fill space and feel as though it’s in control by working stuff out. It’s up to me whether I engage with any of it. And frankly, most of it’s drivel (like the above) so I am becoming much more adept at letting it waft by.
Some people may FEEL different to my memory of them, but that’s too much for my mind to handle it needs to have CATEGORIES. The feeling thing is a very different kettle of fish and also for another day.
Without wanting to repeat myself too much, this is one of the things that meditation and mindfulness practice has taught me. I don’t have to take any of the crap that enters my head seriously. It’s quite restful not having to get out the table and chairs and best china and most fancy Oolong tea for any old Tom, Dick and Harriet of a thought that comes along, and THEN have to spend hours entertaining them. Instead I can acknowledge that something feels different without having to get my knickers in a twist about working it out. After all, everything’s always different all of the time.
And the thoughts? I can let them pass by (mostly, some are sticky little buggers) and continue with my feet up watching the sea 🙂