Through a glass, darkly…

I’ve been examining my filters.  I have them, of course.  Each of us views life through an individual prism of expectation and experience.  Naturally, I didn’t start thinking about filters because of my own behavior.  It’s much easier to identify in someone else’s.  But now that I am aware of mine…

Can I change them?  Do I want to change them?  How can I change them?

And may I pick and choose? Maybe I want to keep my rose-colored filters.  Or are those another way of defining denial?  Set that one aside for another day.

I’m more concerned about negative filters.  Can I wipe away the grime from past injuries, clean the fuzz left by historic failures, leave fears behind; polish up my lenses and see more clearly?

I’m fairly sure that I can’t change yours.  If you feel left out, there is nothing I can say to help you feel included.  You won’t believe me.  You’ll believe your inner voice that tells you, “She felt like she had to invite me,” or “She tells everyone else before she talks to me.”

If you think I stink as a mother, as a friend, or as a lover, I don’t know if there is enough psychic perfume to let me get close to you.  I will probably never do enough, say enough or be enough to you.

The sadness and frustration of this impossibility brings to mind a quote by Katherine Mansfield, “Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. ”

And so if I accept your assessment of me, it, leaves me nothing to do but to work on  myself.  I’m left with the knowledge that if I choose to modify my own behavior I must do so without the anticipation or expectation of the resulting change in yours.

Okay.  I’m game.

In the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, perhaps I can become more aware of who you are instead of presuming your response to me.  Maybe I can look at you with an open heart, expecting joy and pleasure from our time together instead of mutual criticism and defensiveness.  It may be possible to be vulnerable rather than “preparing” myself.

There!  That’s a filter change.




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