Your Reality Is Not Mine
I am ready to share this reflection with you, going out on a limb simply so that you, the one sitting at the other end of the screen, do not share the same one, but it is part of this endless game…
As you read further, you will understand.
We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are…
Stop for a moment and think about it.
You, with all your virtues and defects, your experiences and hopes weighing down on you, from whatever place in the world, wherever you may be, look at your life and what is happening in it according to your particularities and preferences.
Me, with all my virtues and defects, my experiences and my hopes weighing down on me, from whatever place in the world, wherever I may be, look at my life and what is happening in it according to my particularities and preferences.
And in our dialogue, we try to exchange our worlds, sometimes thinking that they are the same. This is why it is so difficult at times to come to an agreement or to understand one another.
In fact, we may both have insisted on the same action or being participants in the same situation, but each one of us has experienced it in their own way, according to their experience, their preferences, their beliefs, etc. That is to say, according to the way each of us is.
This is why every opinion is as valid as our own, and why life, and the construction of our realities, is so subjective. You with all of your experience, me with all of my baggage, observing what may seem to be the same thing, but still we form different realities.
Let us look at an example:
We each have been invited to a party and we each have decided to go, but just before leaving, a friend calls you to confirm that you are coming to work at their company, you got the job for sure; I, on the other hand, had an argument with my partner and we have finally decided to call it off. What my body is begging me to do is stay at home, but I take heart and think that hiding inside myself will cause me to sink down deeper. So I decide to keep the plans that I had.
We meet up there. You glowing with happiness, me drowning in my sadness, trying to hide it.
Even so, we eat, we talk, we dance… and at some point in the night, a song that reminds me of him, I cannot avoid it, and the party atmosphere becomes something confusing, nostalgic, and melancholy for me, while you keep on dancing, excited, like there’s no tomorrow… and in the end, I decide to go home. You still want to stay a while longer.
Thinking back on the party the night before, I remember that song that made me sad, the dishes that he had liked so much, and the constant mask that I had on so that nobody would notice my sadness and attribute it to my break up, while you remember your enthusiastic dancing and that you were more expansive and fun than usual.
It seems like we could have gone to different parties, doesn’t it? The thing is, it was the same one, but you had a grand experience and I had a minimal one, each one of us having focused our attention on different things.
Do you want more proof?
Often when we talk about feelings or abstract concepts like love, friendship, trust, or freedom, we believe that we are talking about the same thing, but there are differences.
I propose that you ask your friend what those concepts mean for them; you will be surprised at how they see things. Surely they will have their own nuances.
That is why it is important, when we converse, to ask the other person what the topic at hand means for them. In this way, you will get to know their perspective. Their world, their reality.
An encounter between two people is the confluence of two worlds, two realities that must converge if we are to teach and get to know one another.
This is why you have to be explicit with the other person and not try to demand or impose our own vision. Keep in mind what I have lived through; it has nothing to do with your experience.
Remember, we do not see things as they are, we see things as we are, and dare to discover other worlds, other realities!