A lot of people don't get this. We think that what
our eyes see is the bottom line of everything, but we
often don't get that we're projecting on to those objects
almost everything about them. Attractiveness,
beauty, ugliness, fascination, wonder, awe--you name it,
and the feeling comes from inside us, in our spirits and
our minds. That's how three people can look at a
rainbow and see three different things--an amazing
miracle, a weather-related occurrence, or the refraction
of light in drops of water. And get twenty more
people and you'll have twenty more ways of seeing it.
This explains a lot more than we want it to, because if we
pay attention to what we're seeing and how we're seeing
it, we can learn a lot about ourselves, as well as who and
what we are. When I was a younger teacher, for
example, I used to see disruptive students as a challenge
to my authority--and I was indeed rather insecure about
the authority I had. Nowadays, I see disruptions as
cries for attention and help, and I don't feel any threat
at all; I also am much more confident and secure in my
If I were a marriage counselor, or even just a
relationship counselor, I would encourage people to write
down what they see in the other person, and then apply
what they see to themselves and their own lives.
What would they learn about themselves? And what
would they learn about the unfair judgments and
expectations that they project on others?
We could learn so much about ourselves from
ourselves! All it takes is being honest and shifting
our perspective to acknowledge that most of the judgments
we make and thoughts we have about things and people come
from inside of ourselves, and not from the things or
people themselves. That honesty could lead us to
some wonderful revelations about who and what we are.
story about a man who found that a tool of his was gone.
He suspected a neighbor boy, and the next time he saw the
boy, he walked like a thief, talked like a thief, and
acted like a thief. The next day, though, the man found
the tool someplace where he had left it himself. The next
time he saw the neighbor boy, the child walked, talked,
and acted just like a boy.