“Being happy doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It just means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~K.B Indiana (age 14)
Do you recognize the filters you use in your life lens?
Each time you take a hard look at events, people and objects with an emotional response, your filters are hard at work.
It’s important to recognize what your filters are; most of them you know by heart from the way that you share hateful things with your pals. “Ooh, I just hate those kinds of people.” Those are pretty obvious, those boisterously boastful distastes for a particular set — pretty stark and seemingly justified and meritorious.
But filters are insidious.
Whenever we say, “God, look at that couple — he’s too handsome for her”, we are not just filtering by looks as applied to other people, but once the filter is on, we look through them even as we look at ourselves.
There are parts of myself I hate — my tummy, my arms, my teeth, things people don’t even notice; they don’t even call attention to them, not even through secret glances. But I filter the way I see myself through these aesthetic lenses. It’s not that obvious. I have a set of friends that do not look like models and I don’t choose friends based on looks.
This particular set of filters is not working against those around me as much as it works against me.
What’s worse is that these filters resonate with most people. Those who have my tummy, my arms and my teeth could walk around life feeling undeserving. And they cannot find “The One” because they will not respect people who do not wear the same filters that they do. “Why would you love someone with these arms and tummy and teeth? Are you out of your mind? Then I have very little respect for you.”
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”~Dale Carnegie
Our internal dialogue can be relentless: “Why would you fall head over heels over these faults? You must be worthy of suspicion. You must have a character flaw I should discover. There must be more than meets the eye here.”
All this self-defeating talk is projected on other people who love us for who we are, and those who are crazy about us will feel the brunt more than others. That’s how we push them away.
It is possible to shed these filters, to change them, to be rid of so much anxiety. I am slowly discovering them. I fell in love with a person who felt deeply undeserving. This feeling of hers was met by my same feeling of unreadiness to receive so much love.
We are pushing each other away, tearing at each other for dear life, and numbing our souls with such disservice to ourselves. Do we look good together? Probably not. There are times when we feel hot when we are not minding others. Are we on a superficial plane? Highly unlikely. Our souls quiver at each other’s presence. There is a magnetic pull that cannot be denied, even if we try to be cool.
Why does it have to be so complicated — love?
Why is it so connected to self-concept? Why is it so intertwined with my very existence? How much injustice can it lead to when we are not being true to ourselves?
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”~Abraham Lincoln
“Hineni!” Here I am. I. Am. Ready. I will not struggle. I will be the reality where the very vacuum that kept love out will be filled with all this faith in grace. I will be happy, no matter what these arms and tummy and teeth mean to anyone. I will be love shooting out blindly at every instance, simply resonating with love. I will be the point of rejoicing and the spokes of primal innocence. I have found her.
I will not be afraid. I will be free.
Edited by Tracy Wisneski.