01 May 2009

Rose Colored Glasses

Okay, so I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist.  A lot of my classes back in grad school would turn to discussions about religion, or theology, or how we believe change occurs, or if it's truly possible to change, and forgiveness, and selflessness, and growth. And we would get into a lot of deep discussions about some deep things. And I left class numerous times feeling like my view of the world was being shifted, and like reality as I had known it was changing. Very very interesting. And a little scary. It's scary to come to the realization that the way you've viewed things your entire life isn't necessarily the only way to view things. Or even the right way to view things.

It was like I had been walking around with purple tinted glasses on since I was born. And I've seen everything through these purple lenses. And I assume that everyone else sees the same purple haze that I do. And the purple haze is so embedded in my life that I don't even notice it's there. And then one day, someone says to me, "Hey girl. Do you know you're wearing purple glasses? It's pretty obvious to the rest of us." And I go "WHAT? Purple glasses? Impossible." And then I go home and look in the mirror, and sure enough--purple glasses. So I take them off. And suddenly the world is a very different place. And the way I see people is different, and the sky is a different color, and the way I look at myself changes.

And it's empowering. And enlightening. And frightening. Because then I wonder what other kinds of lenses I've been looking through. And I my foundation gets rocked a little bit, and I've got to rebuild some things. But in the rebuilding comes new perspective, new appreciation.

And new strength.

Is there a reality? Is there right and wrong? Is there a God? Is there life after death? Is there a purpose to this life?

I know my answer to these questions.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Even after my purple glasses have come off, the answer to these questions is a resounding YES for me. A stronger yes than before.  But those are the answers for me.  What are the answers for you?

And you know what? You've got glasses on, too. They might not be purple. They might be green, or yellow, or pessimistic, or no such thing as true love, or women are bad, or I'm not worth it, or life is pointless, or people are generally good, or people are generally bad, or I'm talented, or I'm not talented, or or or or or.

And we're all walking around with these beliefs, and thoughts, and ideas, and they color everything we see. They color everything. People. Religion. Relationships. And they have been with us for so long that most of us don't even notice they're there. And we assume that everyone sees the world in the same colors that we see the world.

So so so so interesting. What color are your lenses? It's worth it to figure it out. Trust me.


PDawg said...

No comments yet? Really? I'm surprised.

Okay, again, I have to say that you might just *be* me. I'm not sure, because I'm sitting right here and you're not, but you know, the more I read your blog the more I think to myself that there's some kind of connection. Anyway.

I have been feeling this way too for quite a while... I came from a very specific set of values, a conservative background, and a small town. After college I danced in a professional ballet company and that (how shall we say it?) exposed me to some colorful characters... and then as I've married, grown, and encountered other people and tried to stretch myself, I continually feel myself redefining who I am and what that sense of values is. That doesn't mean dumping them--I think that I feel a lot of them even more fervently because I've had to question them and figure out if they really have some merit.

But you know what? I think there's something wonderful there. I think if you're self-aware, questioning, intelligent, and thoughtful and your beliefs are tested, there's much more of a richness to them than the people that just accept whatever is spoon-fed to them and never question. But maybe that's just me.

I also find that people who don't really have an awareness of their colored glasses can tend to be confused by how others don't view the world. I think everybody gets there in their own time, and maybe some people never get there.

Thanks for posting. Love it, as always.

PS your purple glasses reminded me of the song "Purple Haze"... very Hendrix of you. I'm sure that's totally what you were going for.

Tisha said...

I love that you wrote this!! :) It's very true how everyone sees things differently. I definitely had a life changing experience in high school that made me look at the world through a whole new pair of "glasses" Thanks for the great writing Nikki!

Anonymous said...

I find that each stage of life for me is reshaping me and redifining what I think is right and how I view the world.

Once I became a mom it changed so drastically (i have no idea how to spell that word) that I hardly knew who I was anymore. It took some time to find out....still figuring it out

But, I don't think it's a bad thing. Life experiences = growth, which helps you see the world in a whole new light. I feel since my move here, I'm being taught and have so many different pairs of glasses that I didn't even know exsisted. It's nice and humbling at the same time.

Love your post as usual


Anonymous said...

This is the very reason I love getting out of Utah, the rose color glasses come off, you have real, intellectual conversations with people who don't care about religion, and you realize that the rest of the world does not revolve around gossiping about who is going to be the next Bishop or whose husband isn't taking the sacrament or how dare she work and not stay home with her children. In the mean time, real world interaction strengthens your testimony/beliefs/values and teaches you the meaning of "love one another" even when they do not share those same beliefs, etc. and you can discover who you are in this world, outside of church. I think that is SO important.

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