A Matter of Perspective

Today I came across a couple of TED Talks that I found really interesting and gave me pause to consider how these topics are at work in my own life. The first was on how perception shapes reality, and the power of re-framing information. While the second was a piece that explored the neuroscience of being in love.

In the talk on re-framing perspectives we get into an interesting psychological space that explores how framing the same situation two different ways can elicit two different responses. It should be no surprise that how we view the world colors the world we interact with, that the illusion of control over a situation will create a more positive response than he exact same circumstances where control is completely out of our hands. I know first hand how comforting the illusion of control can be, but the idea that reality does not exist independent of perception is a little difficult to work through.

All this talk of perception shaping reality left me to wonder about the world I’ve created for myself. I some times find it hard to pull myself out of my own head, seeing negativity where none exist, and without meaning to, assuming that everyone I come in contact with has some secret agenda or secretly dislikes me and only tolerates my existence. This leaves me to wonder if I drive people away because I expect them to leave. Is my perception shaping my reality to such a tangible extent? But this talk also gives me hope. Hope that as I continue to work through my identity crisis I’ll also be working to re-frame how I see the world and myself within it.

The other talk, exploring the science of a brain that is in love was an eye opener and a comfort. I found myself fascinated listening to the speaker Helen Fisher describe the part of the brain that is active in those who are in love. More than that, the presentation of romantic love as addictive, detailing the parallels between some one in love and someone with an addiction to another substance was a moment of realization. It was a moment in which I found myself saying “I’m not alone in this feeling, and I’m not totally losing my mind!” In the same moment I realized, oh shit, I am in love with him. The realization that maybe I’m not just being 10 kinds of over dramatic. The cycle of craving, withdrawal, relapse, etc. resonated so profoundly within me that I now have a new perspective with which to evaluate where I am today. I am not alone, this is not a new path for me to press on with on my own. And somehow, knowing that what I’m gong through is not a unique set of emotions makes them a little more accessible to try and sort through.

What I’m Thankful for Today: I am thankful for the friends who have, and continue to stand by me and support me. I’m not always an easy person to be around, so I am grateful for those who have seen me at my worst and chosen to offer an hand up. Who believe in my when I can’t find in me to believe in myself.

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