Filters

Amy Johnson with her daughterLife is seen as it’s seen, not as it is.

What is seen is filtered through thought. It can’t not be. How could life ever be viewed “as it is”, unfiltered? What even is “as it is”? How would we know?

What we do know is that, despite the way our language can converge to agree that we’re both seeing the sunset or the Walmart or the paper bag, we’re not experiencing the same sunset, Walmart, or paper bag.

Our seeing diverges even more when it comes to things thought has created meaning and story around. That meaning and those stories are the filter.

I always noticed this most easily when it comes to perceptions of parents. Someone else’s parents might have all sorts of quirks and dysfunctions which are mostly cute and easily overlooked because they are showing up in their parents.

But when those same quirks show up in my parents, they are wholly unacceptable. My parents are seen through a much thicker filter than your parents.

We’re never seeing your parents or my parents “as they are”, whatever that means. We’re seeing a filtered creation.

Why does this matter?

It matters for the same reason it’s helpful to know that celebrity social media pictures have filters applied. When you don’t know, you walk around taking things way too seriously. You assume they really look like that and your mind can’t help but compare.

Same with life. When we don’t remember that everything is filtered, we walk around taking what we see far too seriously. We think we’re right. We think we’re seeing life.

But we’re only ever seeing the highly filtered version.

(I’m pretty sure Willow and I don’t really look like this).

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