Recently I watched a comical skit that portrayed, yet exaggerated, how people’s perceptions can be flawed. In this skit a gentleman goes into a clothing store with his receipt, wanting to return an item of clothing he recently purchased. He is polite and kind to the cashier. When he tells the cashier he would like a refund she retorts, “How dare you talk to me in that abusive language!”, to which he calmly corrects her misperception. She then calls the manager and the two of them threaten to call the police if continues being abusive. The situation further escalates to other customers verbally attacking him as well. This comedy skit illustrates to us that people can be off in their perception of others.
How many times have we been wrong about people and circumstances? How many times have we jumped to conclusions based on perception rather than hard fast evidence? How many times have we been misunderstood, misjudged, accused and condemned without having a voice?
Have you ever jumped to conclusions incorrectly? Would you like to know why this happens and how to avoid it in the future?
We gather our information from our 5 physical senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Senses have taught us from conception onwards. We have learned how to perceive our environment based on internal information that we have gathered from our senses.
In The Beginning…
Without getting into all the details about biological function, it’s important to say that genes do not determine our physical or spiritual destiny. Genes are within every one of our cells. Genetic material is a huge library, it is a storehouse, but it is not the brains. There is no intelligence within our genes, because our genes are the gonads of the cell. The brain of the cell is the cellular membrane along with the interaction of proteins. The cell receptors which are located within the cell membrane respond to the external environment based on the information it receives and it reacts based on its’ beliefs about it. In other words the cell’s actions are based on its internal perceptions!
What does that mean for me? Let’s continue and you will see its relevance to the big picture. Dr. Nigel Plummer, of Prime Nutritional Supplement Development And Manufacturing Company in the UK, states that two months prior to ovulation before conception takes place genetic information is already sequenced based on the unconscious perception of the parents’ environment. The mother’s ovaries sequence the DNA within the ovum to help with survival based on the mother’s own belief systems and perceptions of the environment in which she is living in. So to the father’s testicles sequence DNA within the sperm based on his perception of the environment on a subconscious level. The result being that the child’s traits are determined to some degree based on their parents unconscious or subconscious beliefs.
From that point on we begin learn from our environment within the womb. We learn emotions from our mother through the nervous system and through her hormonal releases. This creates within the child core beliefs on a spiritual and physical level.
Dr. Stephen Porges in his work, The Polyvagal Theory, explains how our in utero experience creates beliefs within our vagal nervous system, which is part of the Parasympathetic Nervous System. These beliefs are based on perceptions of the environment which was in essence taught to us through our mother’s own nervous and hormonal systems.
Once we come into this world we continue learning, but not cognitively, rather we learn through our senses. We learn from the emotional resonance of our primary caregivers, whether or not our parents are present physically and emotionally we still learn from their facial and vocal cues.
Jumping ahead, cognitive learning centers of the brain really don’t come online until around the age of 12 and then not yet fully until about 25 years of age based on average human brain development.
According to science, our perceptions are based on deep core beliefs that started as far back as 2 months prior to ovulation before we were even conceived. From a spiritual perspective the Bible tells us that our core beliefs come from grandparents and even great grandparents.
Some of our beliefs are obviously good and have served us well, while others unknowingly undermine us and cause us some trouble.
I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Is…
I remember playing this little game as a child with my mother and sister, it was a lot of fun and since then I have played it with my own children. This little game is based on perception of what we see and how we see it.
As we know perceptions form our beliefs and continually are reinforced on an unconscious level. Why do some people irritate us? Why do we react and later realize it was irrational? Core beliefs! In addition to the understanding that we have formed our beliefs based on our experiences and perceptions of how we related to the world around us, each of us have also experienced some form of psychological and possibly physical trauma.
I heard a story recently of two police officers that experienced a traumatizing event in their line of duty. Both of them were shaken up, one was more resilient than the other and was back to work before long, while the other developed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Why? Because of his personal development prior to conception and onward. Some studies indicate that resiliency is based on nurture and its consistency in childhood.
As we walk through life we need to become aware of our selves. This is impossible to do on your own without any outside help. People who believe they can figure it out on their own are living in an illusion of perception.
Recently, I was at an EMDR workshop and in these workshops we paired off and began working on our own past traumas. To my ongoing amazement, I had a moment of revelation where I saw an aspect of myself that I had not seen previously. This brought me to the very vivid realization that I, and really all of us, live in some form of false reality because our perceptions are off. How then can we really live? How then can we reach our true potential? How then can we fulfill the divine destiny for our lives? We all need help and not self help. We need personal help from a qualified individual. I believe in having a team that aids and mentors me in various aspects of my life. Such aspects as: a pastor for spiritual growth and development, financial coach for financial self-development, personal trainer for physical exercise, a natural health practitioner for my wellbeing, etc. But, the thing that really sticks out for me is that I need to clear out and transform my erroneous, self-destructive, self-sabotaging beliefs. This I realize is done in two ways spiritually and through psychotherapy.
Often people are afraid of psychotherapy, but really it’s one of the greatest things since sliced bread. Change your perceptions and you will change every aspect of your life for the better!