• Elisa Juarez

Being is Seeing

April 10, 2022


I’ve been reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, which starts with a look at perceptions and paradigms. The way we see things – that is, perceive, understand, and interpret them - is the source of the way we think and act. Our perceptions are like a lens through which we see the world, so, we must look at the lens, as well as the world we see, since the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world. “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are - or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms” (p. 28). There have been many times that I have gone to visit my dad, and he is wearing someone else’s glasses. He has no idea. According to the caregivers, this is a common occurrence. The residents are often misplacing their glasses and picking up someone else’s by mistake. A few times he even sported a pair of women’s glasses! Covey says that paradigms are inseparable from character and being is seeing in the human dimension. What we see is highly interrelated to what we are. This explains why different people can go through the same situation and perceive or experience it in completely different ways. My dad is a perfect example of this. All the years he has been in assisted living and memory care, he has maintained a positive attitude. His journey with Alzheimer’s has been shaped by his character which provides a lens that cannot be misplaced or taken. No matter what happens in his world, he sees through the lens of love, gratitude, and faith. It provides a wide and wonder-filled view. I think about how my eyesight has changed in recent years, creating a need for new lenses every year or two. It’s usually a minor adjustment in the prescription, but enough to sharpen my focus and vision. Personal growth has a similar effect on our character, often causing enough discomfort that we shift our perspective and our focus. Whenever we recognize and break through our conditioning, we begin to see things in a new light. We may even put on someone else’s glasses at times, which will increase our empathy and understanding. As we allow love to widen our lens, we see people and circumstances more clearly. Changing how we see things is an inside-out process. It requires us to examine our lens and realize that our perceptions reflect our character and conditioning. As we make adjustments in our thinking and behavior, we develop new habits of being and seeing. One way to do this is by reframing a situation to get a different perspective. Another is to listen and learn without judgment. These practices create openings, which is all Love needs to illumine a situation or relationship. Love will reshape us from the inside, replacing the old ways of seeing with fresh eyes and "new frames". Love is a powerful lens that will transform our seeing and our being in the world. It will give us a greater capacity to see the beauty in humanity and bring it forth. This is the season of renewal and rebirth. Set an intention to behold Love in yourself and all that you encounter. Whatever it is you wish to see, that is what you first must be. Namaste, ej Elisa J. Juarez


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