Recently a friend of mine and I took a short trip to Ft Lauderdale FL to visit another friend. We spent a great day on the beach in the sun and late in the afternoon we started to pack up. We had chairs, towels and bags so once we got everything gathered we trudged (soft sand!) up to the handy outdoor shower area to rinse our feet off. As we approached the platform where the shower was I saw briefly that there was a couple standing there.
After we rinsed off we continued across the street to our hotel. My friend Sue says to me “What was with that woman and the stockings?” I said, “What?” “You know, the couple with the kid.” “Where?” Sue then looked at me and said, “What do you see when you walk around??” I laughed because I have been known to miss things (i.e. in my own little world). Sue said, “No, really. I’m not making fun of you. I just really wonder what it is you see—like right now crossing the street.”
So apparently the couple and child in question were making their way on to the beach but the woman was wearing stockings. She took her shoes off and was walking down on to the sand. Sue found this rather odd—in Florida where it is warm, wearing stockings, especially wearing stockings to the beach. I admit, had I noticed I would have considered this a little odd myself (not that it is up to me to judge! :-)).
I explained to Sue that while walking up the beach to the road mostly I was concerned with not dropping anything, since I had my hands full, and not wiping out in the soft sand. So consequently my eyes were focused mostly on the sand in front of me. Also, which totally cracked me up because it happened twice, the chair that I had flung over my shoulder (it had a strap for easy carrying) was right behind and to the side of my head. Twice I got startled because I saw the chair in my periphery vision and thought someone had come up right behind me. (Ok, I am really not a dope although I am kind of portraying myself as one in this post!).
Anyway, what I am talking about here is perception. There we were, two people walking the exact same route but seeing two entirely different scenarios. My world at that moment was completely different than hers. Yet there we were walking side by side. So when you hear all the big names in personal growth tell you that we create our own reality—well, there is your simple proof. Without getting into any of the science of it, simply stated I saw what pertained to what was important to me (not dropping stuff and not tripping) and Sue saw what was important, or most relevant to her (why the hell would someone wear stockings in the sand?).
So what we perceive is in fact our reality. What do you see?