I recently got to spend time with several of my siblings. Every year, two of my sisters come to visit, and this year, one of my younger brothers chose to come as well.

As with every gathering, reminiscing about the past and our childhood, along with telling well worn stories, was a big part of our time together.

I recently heard that if four people were asked to explain what they observed while walking together the entire length of a mall, each person would have an entirely distinct account to share. .

What captures our attention can vary depending on our hobbies, passions, likes, dislikes, preferred colors, interest in people, etc. Our perspective of the world is shaped by the amalgamation of our life experiences.

A bunch of siblings in their 60’s, remembering events from decades before, takes this experience to a whole new level. Story variations on steroids! A few of us genuinely don’t remember some of those common experiences.

But ever since they left, I’ve been thinking about how adamant I was that my interpretation was the correct one! It was almost as if I somehow lost part of my identity if my version wasn’t correct.

It hurts to admit it, but needing my version of the past to be “right” is another way I play with the illusion of control. I’ve spent endless decades attempting to manipulate the heck out of practically every element of my existence. All in a futile effort to exert control.

Another thing that has been clear to me from my musings over the past week or so is that I continue to struggle with old issues related to identity. Even if those issues are subtle

Neither of these current awarenesses are life threatening. They actually contribute in some manner to the lighthearted banter that we all enjoy. However, they also increase my awareness of projection and perspective. This is where the potential for shifts or change really lies.

We all have unique experiences that inform our perspectives. While some may be evident, the majority are likely quite subtle. Because of this, people who share similar experiences remember things differently. Everybody tunes into different things. This means no one will ever experience a scenario in the same manner that we do since no one has our unique perspective.

Furthermore, we assign or project distinct values and meanings to everything that occurs to us due to our personal viewpoint. Thus, solidifying our perspective.

For instance, I recently attended a seminar with some friends. The words I was hearing made me feel awkward and as though I was in the wrong place. My companions had an entirely different experience. They didn’t just find it inspirational — they didn’t hear any objectionable language. Different perspectives and different projections.

This is important for me right now because being aware of our individual perspectives reminds me that it is important to accept multiple interpretations of a story or experience, without feeling pressure to own or choose the “correct one.” They can simply coexist.

Originally shared on Medium.com (https://medium.com/@desertcharles/perspective-8690084df7e2)