I don’t normally turn my blog into a philosophical or analysis of the past. This blog was originally to explore my exploration and development in the Second Life world. It was meant to share pictures of things that I like to do in SL and explore my thoughts on them. But someone shared something on FB recently that had me thinking about recent events in my SL life. Things that happened and things said that was taken out of context and turned into a “truth” and twisted at the perception of others without so much as a by your leave and asking me what I meant or why I said what I said. And it had been going on for a few months, then to turn around and tell me that “no one back stabbed” me all while telling me they had been sharing logs of my chats with my ex-sister. I’ve not said anything before now, but the words of a friend’s grandfather got me thinking about it today and that lead to me thinking about why I’m so angry about the whole situation.

He said:

We know our opinions stem from our thoughts, not from external truth. So, perhaps we shouldn’t go to battle over our truths as we so often do. Although deeply held, your truths are not necessarily those of others. When you come to terms with this reality and place feeling good above the need to be right, you’ll be taking a giant step toward eradicating the angry conflicts in your life.

The need to be right is also the need to prevail. We live in a competitive society, and we like to be winners. Part of being right is winning the conflict. Realize this, and know that your desire to be right is your ego trying to win another contest. Reframe your thinking to accept the idea that we are all in this together. Expect that others will think differently and that their perception of events will not be the same as yours. Accept their differences with joy. If we were all the same it would be like living in “Pleasantville,” the movie about life in the suburbs where everything is the same – dull, and colorless.

So how might you change your way of looking at things to take into consideration someone else’s perceptions – and to wind up with a more harmonious result? Imagine someone using a cell phone in a restaurant where you are having dinner. They are chatting away somewhat loudly and this upsets you because you think they are making too much noise and being rude. But what if you came up with a new way of looking at the same situation – forced yourself, in other words, to perceive this unpleasant situation in a new, more pleasant light. That light might look something like this. “I’m going to imagine that this cell phone person is simply having a conversation with a real live dinner guest, and he is speaking as loudly as he is in fact speaking on the phone. I wouldn’t be disturbed by the live conversation scenario – so why should I be disturbed by the cell phone exchange?” In this example by changing our perception of the event, we have succeeded in changing our response to it – from angry to accepting.

Another example of how easy it can be to change our perception is to take an optimistic viewpoint, one that leaves us with a good feeling. What if we were to change our viewpoint from “This is what I have to do today,” to “This is what I would like to do today?” Our perception would change from a day ahead of us filled with obligation to one filled with positive promise.

And he is right. In text communication, we say things that could be taken the wrong way. Part of communication is seeing the person’s face as we talk to them, hearing their voices as they talk to us. The invisible every day cues that we get from people as we interact with them is missing when we talk in chat. So what we, ourselves, perceive as just chattering and talking through stuff, can be seen as “bitching and moaning” by others, even if we don’t mean it that way. Sharing of chat logs and adding your own ideals and motives to the words of the author develops your own truth over time that may not be a truth. So, if you share logs amongst yourselves, keep this in mind. What you perceive as a truth may not be the truth. What you see as the person saying, may not be what they meant. It happened to me recently and I just learned the “truth” that you watch what you say to everyone because it can be used against you in the court of public opinion or even in the private court of those you are supposed to be close to…Remember that next time you share logs with anyone. What YOU perceive as the truth in those words, may not be the truth.

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