Reality or Perception?

Albert Einstein said, “ Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”.  

So is perception our reality?  Or is it reality is our perception?  

I ponder this statement today as my Facebook memories popped up to tell me, it was 6 years ago that my dad passed away.  Yes, I really did forget this, which I find as a positive thing, as it informs me that I healed my grief following my Dad’s passing.  This event did not change my reality- it changed my life, but it didn’t make me perceive things differently. I know I have challenged myself through life to not let things that happened to me, to become my reality.  Might sound strange to some, but to me it all makes sense, for it allowed me to be more aware of my feelings and to put things in a positive light as I needed them to be. I know I have done this since I was a little girl, back then life was different for me than anyone else in my family, I always felt alone and I would say the “black sheep” of the family.  I was always told I was too sensitive, but also I was too hyper, talk about a bag of mixed emotions. I know I was a deeply sensitive, feeling and loving being, who also loved life and wanted everyone to be happy. With the terms of hyper and too sensitive I also was the peacekeeper, as my parents argued all the time. My sister took my mom’s side and I took my dad’s, as I never wanted anyone feeling alone.  With all the roles I took on, I was the family comedian as well,there was always some kind of tension in our lives, and for me to make them laugh even for 5 minutes was my way of coping and bringing smiles to their faces. I know it was my wanting them to see life could be lived differently, but at a young age, I didn’t know how to do that. I remember childhood, always dreaming and imagining the different life I was going to have, one where I was able to just be ME.   When my mom became sick, I was in 8th grade, my role became caregiver. My sister graduated from high school and moved on to college, as I was just starting high school, and left to care for both of our parents, while trying to be a normal teenager in school. High school was probably the hardest time of my life, not because of my mom, but I believe that was the main reason for me making many bad decisions. Drinking, boyfriends, and really anything that my parents would not allow me to do.  I guess, I would say it was how I coped, a way of not dealing with what was going on and the only way I knew to make my own choices. I never told my mom once how it was so hard to not have her be a mom during that time, I knew I could never hurt her that way. With that, I knew it was not going to change what had already happened, that I had to keep believing it was all for a higher purpose and one day I would know what that was. I know my friends always felt sorry for me and what I had going on in my life, but reality was I knew they could never actually know what it was like. They all lived a different life, never having to call 911 countless times for their moms or feeling the total burden of having to be a grown up in a teenage body.  Do you know that feeling of being all alone? After graduation, I was one of the only ones in my friend group who was not going off to college, it was a choice that I made, knowing I could not leave my mom and dad. I would not call it a noble choice, it was a choice that I felt I had to make, almost like I made a prior commitment to all of this. I know this is how I view my life, that I had a prior contract before I came, that I choose my parents, this family, to teach them and to learn from them so that my Soul could grow and evolve. I have never thought of my life as a bad life, did bad things happen? Of course, but I also believe that happens in everyone’s lives, it is just how we perceive what happens to us, and the experiences we have, which creates our realities.  The beautiful thing is we are also empowered with the ability to interrupt what our own perception of reality is. If we don’t like it, we have the power to change it. I know when I tell people I am the only one left in my family and the story of my parents dying close together and my sister who committed suicide, they are almost shocked that I am the way I am. I am healthy, positive, well adjusted, hopeful, and believe in the power of being human. I don’t worry anymore about what people think, because that is their perception, not mine. That is how life is, we perceive what we think is someone’s reality, but never knowing exactly what it was or is like to live in their shoes. If we only remembered this, we would never judge, mistreat, or form a judgment of someone. I used to wonder how I got through my life, how I did not end up like my sister, did not become a victim of my life, and ultimately, was able to be who I am now.   I know it was for the awareness of my feelings, feeling all I had and needed to, and that all would be ok. I chose my reality back then of hope, love, and knowing that there was something more than just what appeared “on the surface.” I will always feel blessed for my life, my family, and what my reality was then, for it allowed me to go through so much more of my life events trusting, resilient, and being aware of how and where I was meant to be.

What would you change about your current reality today if you could?  

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XO-Rach