It’s Jocelyn from marketing. I remember a vice-principal once telling me that “perception is reality.” I didn’t truly grasp what he meant. Reality was objective, right? How could it be based on individual perception? As I grew up and built a spiritual practice, I started to get glimpses of what it meant. However, getting into recovery opened the doors to understanding it in a way I never could have imagined. There were so many examples, it was mind-blowing.
Sitting at brunch with a crush in early sobriety — it was a Sunday afternoon, and there happened to be a dive bar across the street. I made a flippant remark about how when I was drinking, I would have been over in that dark bar on a sunny Sunday afternoon, rounding out my week. He was truly perplexed. He said something about maybe having one or two on a Sunday afternoon, but the thought of getting ripped was truly unimaginable to him. It was one of the first times I started to realize that my perception of how the world worked (and drank) was not “normal” reality for most people. He was perplexed and I was silently amazed.
Listening to someone tell his story — he was a great speaker, and somewhere in the middle of his talk, he uttered this gem which was news to me: “A miracle is merely a change in perception.” Wait, what? But the previous anecdote (and many, many others like them throughout my sobriety) was a clear example. There was a time when drinking was the priority, and I couldn’t have imagined that being different, much less desired it. The fact that I had had an entire change of perspective on the subject was previously beyond my comprehension or interest. Being able to get sober was, in fact, a miracle.
Learning more about how I interacted with others and how those relationships had affected and shaped my entire view of the world and how I moved through it. Having it explained to me that having resentments about things were a key factor in my dissatisfaction with life, and how letting go of them kept me that much further from a drink. Not to mention, the sour feelings I held about a person or situation, the basis for the reality I created, could very well be living entirely in my head — without no concrete examples to back them up.
I cannot tell you how many times I was convinced that someone, that I previously had no issue with, disliked me and so, I didn’t like them back. After that decision/resentment, it caused me to act in a way that if they had no issue with me (and probably didn’t consider me at all), they would definitely feel the vibe, and reinforce my idea that they didn’t like me. I have *several* amazing, long-time friends that started out that way in my head.
All of which is why we are so interested in enjoying a cup of coffee as a way to slow down, take a breath, give ourselves an opportunity to change our perspective. I was amazed to learn you could write an angry email — and save it as a draft! (Pro tip: keep the To: section blank.) As we head into the new year, we encourage you to make time to Sip in the Moment.