Monthly Archives: August 2015

Perceptual Illusions

While visiting our old family cabin, I was lying on the bed looking up at a familiar water stain on the ceiling, from a long ago roof leak. The cabin was built when we were kids.  My initial scan tells me whether the roof is leaking again…oh please no…  But I decide it’s still the original stain from the original leak…whoopie, no roof bills!  The stain looked like a scary face, not unlike the face in the painting, The Scream.  I was visiting our cabin for a family celebration.  Right away I was told something about something and became full out annoyed pretty much for the remainder of my visit.  One morning while still ticked off, and before getting out of bed, I stared at the ceiling stain for a while, and started to see something like a bunny rabbit instead of a spooky face.  I went back and forth between perceiving it as a scary face and the bunny rabbit.  It reminded me of the famous drawing of the pretty woman in the feathered hat.  Perceiving the drawing another way, one might see an old woman not unlike a witch’s face.  I know there are a lot of ways to look at myself, people and circumstances…ceiling stains. That week, I really tried to choose seeing something positive while visiting with family but something ticked me off and I chose not to say anything.

I know that how I choose to feel about myself, others, and circumstances, can impact my level of joy.  But evidently, for me, family is one of the last and best places to look at my beliefs around worthiness, acceptance and love. Being around them is nice but often, a not so fun, yet valuable opportunity to practice letting everyone be exactly who they are.  Outside of family I’m better at speaking up now.   Around family I still lose my backbone and shrink.  Maybe next time I’ll speak up and offer a suggestion rather than shrinking and stewing.  Doesn’t mean I have to agree with or roll-over.  It just means they get to be them, I get to be me and we’ll love each other as we are.