A few years ago, I saw a post on one of my social media channels that was a typed paragraph that was missing prepositions like “of”, “in”, “at”, and also missing the crosses on the letter “t” and the dots on the letter “I”. Yet, I, along with most people, was able to read the paragraph with complete ease and fluency. A similar post was done in Arabic where the important characters and dots that can completely change the meaning and pronunciation of a word were removed too, and like I did with the English script, I read this one effortlessly. I was thinking about this post this week and started wondering where else in our lives are we filling in the gaps and seeing something that’s not there. If a kid who just recently learned how to read was given this paragraph, he will probably not read it as smoothly as you and I. The difference is that this kid has not had enough experience in reading to allow him to fill in the gaps. He sticks to the script, literally, and doesn’t assume to know what is missing or if something is missing to begin with.
What if we apply this logic to other parts of our lives, like relationships for instance. A woman who has had a few heartbreaks and has been lied to or cheated on will likely expect this to happen again in a new relationship. She may start reading too much into simple actions like him working late, or not calling her when he said he would, or canceling an outing for any reason. She will see these as “signs” that history is about to repeat itself, and she will fill in the gaps with things that do not exist in reality.
More recently, a recording of a mysterious sound started circulating social media and I was one of the recipients. It claims that only people of a certain age (35 and younger) can actually hear the sound, while those of us who are older only hear silence. I tested this and found that it’s true. The kids in my family heard a piercing sound, so loud and annoying they had to cover their ears. I found this to be extremely peculiar, so I did some research. It turns out that as we age, certain sounds become completely imperceptible to us. How interesting!
It got me thinking, how many other things are happening around us that we are not seeing, hearing or feeling?
Our minds are so powerful and very often we misuse this extraordinary power in ways that don’t serve us; we fill in the gaps with things that are not really there and we refuse to see things that are right in front of us. We allow our conditioning, our filters, our beliefs, to dictate how we sense the world. Our past experiences become the drivers and the influencers behind our decisions and feelings.
What if we make the choice to be neutral? What if we start seeing things as neutral before we give them meaning and jump to conclusions which can be very far from truth?
What is the truth anyway? I’ll leave that for another post. Today we ponder the power we all have inside that can affect every single thing outside.