The Lens Through Which We See The World


About 15 years ago, when my grandma was still alive, we sat together on the front deck of my parents' beach house. The sunlight reflected on her glasses in such a way that I could see a rather thick layer of grime and sea-spray coating each of the lenses. I asked my grandma if she'd like me to clean her glasses for her. She assured me that they were already clean and that she could see "perfectly well." Still, I persuaded her to let me give them a good wiping-down. When she put her glasses back on, her entire face lit up. She smiled, eyebrows lifted, and looked around with fresh eyes. Colors were more vibrant, shapes had cleaner edges, and, as she put it, she "felt lighter."

Just like my grandma, we tend to move through our days convinced that we are seeing clearly—that the way we perceive an event or circumstance is THE truth. We innocently believe that we are witnessing life as it truly is rather than how it appears through a lifetime of filters.

The moment we’re born, the lenses through which we see the world are already accumulating filters. We don’t choose the filters, of course. There is not a baby out there who chooses the conditioning or learning that happens in his or her little baby environment. Babies do not choose parents who yell over parents who cuddle. Toddlers in pre-school do not choose thriving classrooms over dysfunctional ones. Older children don’t choose whether they have a dad who plays ball with them over a distracted or depressed mom. Conditioning happens. Learning happens. Layers of filters are added as the years and decades pass. By the time that baby is a young adult, the lens thorough which he or she sees the world is clouded at best. There is no clear, unbiased, unconditioned lens. If there was such a thing, 7.9 billion of us would see events and circumstances in the same way. There would be one objective truth rather than 7.9 billion subjective truths.

So, why does this matter?

It matters because when we get caught up in thoughts and beliefs that look like THE TRUTH, we tend to suffer.

And by suffer, I mean we find ourselves judging people and circumstances. We feel a sense of lack. We feel uneasy but we can’t quite figure out why. We feel chronic, low-level anger or shame. We see others as villains while we feel victimized. We mentally rage against all of the injustices of the world. We silently rehearse our best comebacks and that’ll-show-him lines at 3 a.m. We ruminate and fantasize about worst-case scenarios. We find ourselves in the same unwanted situations over and over again. We say things like, “This is my truth” yet we have no idea that what we’re identifying as truth is actually hundreds of layers of unquestioned beliefs.

Like fish in water, we are so accustomed to our lenses that we have no idea they’re there. We believe we’re seeing the objective truth. The decades of conditioning and learning—none of which we chose—have been innocently mistaken to be “our truth.” And if there is one thing people in Western culture love to defend, it’s our truth.

But what if, beneath the decades of conditioned beliefs, there is a you that is full of peace, freedom, wisdom, and connection? What if you could just get curious about some of the filters clouding the truth of who you really are? How might life look different if you were open to seeing something with fresh eyes—without a few of the filters of conditioned belief?

Seeing with fresh eyes is where deep, lasting change happens. It’s more than a change in perspective. It’s not swapping a negative story for a positive one. It’s not doing thought-gymnastics so that you can have a better feeling. It’s deeper than that. It’s taking a look at who you are before and beyond the layers of added filters.

Why is it helpful? Because, like my grandma, when your lenses are clear, colors are brighter. Shapes have cleaner edges. Opportunities open up that were never seen before. The view through your physical eyes becomes a little less mesmerizing, and the view from your heart expands exponentially.


broken image


If you'd like to learn more about experiencing the energy of raw emotion, free from the stories your mind loves to tell, check out my video called, "Fragile and Sensitive" on YouTube.

If you'd like to see shorter, 30-second videos on this and other healing topics, please follow me on Instagram here.

If you'd like to join me for FREE Summer Office Hours on Thursdays at 3pm Eastern/8pm UK, please register here and then just show up any Thursday this summer that you happen to be available. All are welcome any time.

And if you'd like early acces to my LIVE four-week September course, make sure you're on my mailing list. Space is always limited in my LIVE courses, and I offer early access to those already enrolled in Office Hours and on my mailing list. If you don't already receive my monthly newletters or weekly Office Hours updates, email me at and I will add you to my monthly newsletter.

Finally, if you'd like to work with me one-on-one, please feel free to email me at or click here to contact me through my webpage. I look forward to hearing from you.