Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Perception Is Reality
Sometimes life is unfair, and sometimes it just plain sucks. There have been times in my life when I seriously wondered if all my praying was just me trying to self soothe. Ultimately, I have always felt heard. I know plenty of people who do not have that luxury, so I am not one to take it for granted. Recently, Mike has had a seemingly long line of bad luck. If it is true about good luck being preparedness meeting opportunity, then bad luck must be one being ill prepared to occurring events. I am not sure if that applies here, but let's remember how much I like logic, even when it doesn't apply. Yesterday, Mike left his beloved bicycle out on the driveway next to the house, for about an hour. In that hour, someone came brazenly forward to our house and just stole it. I could not wrap my brain around the shear nerve of how close to us, while we were sitting in our back yard, they had to come to get the bike. WTF? There have been other things that had I not experienced enough crazy in my life I would have thought someone was gunning for Mike. But in truth, stuff just happens sometimes and we have to decide for ourselves what it all means. Yep, you guessed it, here comes one my many optimistic "all things for a reason" diatribes. Even though there have been an entire string of crap headed at my boy, the truth is some of it is caused by distraction due to the other crap he is dealing with. It is not fair. What it is, is life. I do not mean to sound callous about his bike or any other kerfluffle he has had to deal with, during these past months. What I do mean to point out is everybody has crap. How we choose to see and deal with our crap is the key to not just survival, but real life long learning. Is what is happening a life defining moment or is it just crap that has to be waded through in order to be the chicken who gets to the other side? Years ago I was raped. I sat in the mess of the typical guilt, shame, self blame, blah blah blah. I did that for a few years until I realized that I had been victimized for ten minutes by the jerk who I knew, who had decided to assault me. The rest of the time I had victimized me, by replaying things over and over and over. The rape did not have to be life defining moment in that way. It did not have to define my present or future or even make a dent in who I was or who I wanted to become. It took some time and some much needed therapy to figure that out, but I did, indeed figure it out. The rape, for me would become merely something that happened to me, but I did not have to ingest all of it, and internalize it until it would chew me up from the inside out. It wasn't the first time I had gotten hurt by someone, nor was it the last, but once I figured out that I didn't have to become a slave to it, or be defined by it, it became what it was, in fact, an unfortunate incident. It was my perception of what it did to who I was, that caused most of my pain. When I realized I held the key to my own perception, I was set free to acknowledge it, talk about it, and eventually let it go to become a bad memory from my distant past. Being raped, having to figure out how to survive such a horrific pain is what caused me to teach my children that they alone get to determine their worth, and the rest of the world can suck it if they don't agree. I must admit, I think it has been some of my best parenting. I am the first to admit my parenting skill set is one I constantly work on, since I have long ago acknowledged I am fatally flawed. Some reality is just reality. New reality is just reality. But the memory of the reality is where we get to perceive ourselves in that reality any way we want. Except if you see yourself as a Noble prize winner when all you did was open a jar of peanut butter for your spouse. Once, when I was nurse I was asking for supplies from an administrator who was balking at the idea of having to pony up the extra cash from our shoestring budget. He looked at me and said in a voice that was flat as a pancake, "Kellie, perception is reality." He walked away with a smug look on his face as if he had left me with some nugget of obtuse wisdom. I walked back to the station where two other nurses looked at me for a reaction. "What? I think he is correct. Perception is reality and I perceive that cheap SOB to be an idiot." Mike will get a new bike. We will find a way to be together. Life will go on. My reality, well as long as I am with my boy, is a little slice of heaven.