Wednesday, March 8, 2023


“That’s just your perception.”

Dismissal landing.


Well, yeah.

Connection interrupted.

I had shared something from a deeper part of me when the above retort was delivered in reaction. I use the word reaction purposefully as it did not feel like a response. It felt as if the person with whom I was sharing could not or chose not to find an internal place that would open to fully receive what I was sharing.

Perhaps they could not access a file into which they could place my communication. Perhaps it was too tender a piece of my heart to deal with in that moment. Perhaps it was too dissonant with their own perceptual network. Whatever the reason it was dismissed with the wave of a psycho-spiritual truism.

“That’s just your perception.”

It dismissed what I had shared. It distanced communicator and receiver. And it discounted me and my current experience. The connection was severed, at least in that moment.

Now let me be clear that it indeed is always my perception that I am dealing with and seeing through. Everything is received and processed from the level of perception. The dynamic relationship between perception and projection is a vital part of awakening consciousness. Awakening does not involve ridding us of perception. Awakening involves knowing what our perceptual system is, and how we are applying it in any given moment. That is what frees us from projecting out our disowned perceptions, which is a sure way to block healing and strain relations.

As we honestly share our perceptions in a safe and compassionate space, we begin to create more and more space between perception and the witness of perceptions. We give voice to them as a way of confessing what we are experiencing. How they are received and listened to is crucial to the healing process. Dismissing, discounting, distancing never has a healing affect. Neither do psycho-spiritual truisms. Listening from a space that recognizes and embraces perception as an evolutionary dynamic engages both communicator and listener in a holy space of union and transformation.

I write this not to judge, criticize, or condemn the deliverer of the admonition.

I write this in gratitude that my awareness and dedication to full and present attention and listening has been made deeper as a result of the interaction. I am more committed than ever to knowing that everything that anyone shares with me is indeed that person’s perception. My commitment is to listen in such a way that let’s people know that their perceptions matter to me. Regardless of what I think about what they are sharing, that they are sharing is what is most important. I dedicate myself to staying acutely aware that I am listening to their perceptions through my own perceptual lens. There is always bias. Being aware of that creates freedom in my heart and spaciousness in my mind. That freedom and spaciousness is what I offer as I listen and stay present.

Connection matters more to me than perception.

Yet we cannot remove perception from connection. It is all a part of our ever-evolving expansion of learning to grow in acceptance, honor, dignity, compassion, and love. Your perceptions have a place in my heart because you have a place in my heart. They may indeed be “just your perceptions” but they are a vital part of you. And I don’t want you to be anything other than “just you.” Perceptions and all.

I have come to recognize and embrace that my subject matter and writings have a somewhat limited appeal. That is, of course, just my perception. It is supported, however, by empirical evidence. So, whether you think this applies to you or not I invite you to listen carefully and dig deeply. Look for ways you may not receive people at their own perceptual level. Look for how you might apply dismissive labels. Look squarely at reactions that may create a disconnect, if only for a moment.

We are here in the realm of story. Of perception. We all project onto others at times. It is how we live and grow. And it is a high and holy opportunity to support each other in that growth. You don’t do that by dismissing another’s experience. No matter how misguided you think it is. Afterall, that is just your perception.

Perception and intimacy are not mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand. Heart to heart. I will intimately listen to your perceptions because you matter to me. All of you matters to me.

And because you matter, I write and share my experience. I understand it is just my experience. I understand that you may or may not even read it. If you do, you will read through your own perceptual lens. Through your own bias. And that matters to me too.

But then, it’s just my perception.