Perception – Do We See the Same Thing?

PerceptionEyeThe dictionary’s meaning of Perception:

  1. A) The ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses
  2. B) The way in which something is regarded understood or interpreted.

Do we see the same thing? Interesting question … Have you ever looked up at the sky and noticed a shape in the clouds such as a rabbit or angel? While in awe at that amazing sight you share this with your friend standing next to you and they nod absently seemingly disinterested because they can’t see it.

Or, you’re walking through the bush and notice a scent that you just love and ask your friend, “Can you smell that?” You find a blank look on their face as if you’re talking about aliens standing on the path ahead.

These are two simple examples, but in life, there can be major misunderstandings created because of the different perceptions of the individuals involved often causing conflict and frustration.

In psychology, we talk about a frame of reference. Tversky, A. And Kahneman, D (1981) explained it like this; A frame of reference is a complex set of assumptions and attitudes which we use to filter perceptions to create meaning. The frame can include beliefs, schemas, preferences, values, culture and other ways in which we bias our understanding and judgement.

Let’s go back to the rabbit shaped cloud in the sky. What if you held up your arm and pointed your finger towards the shape you saw and asked your friend to place their hand over yours as you drew it in the air? Do you think they would see what you see? Yes, they would and would forever more see shapes in the clouds because you took your time to show them.

Now let’s look at that lovely scent in the bush. In Australia, we have the eucalyptus gum tree, and the leaves smell just like eucalyptus. What if you pulled a leaf off the branch and scrunched it in your hand and then smelt it and encouraged your friend to do the same. Would you feel you have increased their awareness and possibly opened them to experience the beautiful scents as they walked in nature? I’d say yes.

Now there will be some situations where no matter how you communicate the other person will have dug in their heels and will not want to see your perspective. You may have even found yourself in the same situation standing there righteously claiming your truth. I know that I have!

Through a recent personal experience, I wondered why a particular person was avoiding me. I called them and asked, “What’s going on for you, please tell me because I care and love you?” I then listened to what she had to say without interruption for the next fifteen minutes.

Hearing her initially, I was in shock, really that’s what you thought happened. None of what the other person stated resonated. In fact, I felt my body reject it immediately. That person believed they stood in their truth as I knew I was in mine.  We both had an entirely different perception.

There’s a saying about walking in someone else’s shoes… it can help, but there will be times that you may have to agree to disagree or walk away.

It’s a matter of how important that person or situation is, and it’s not about conceding, gloating or feeling frustrated. It’s about compassion for the other knowing that we all have our unique frame of reference, and then having confidence in your truth and intent, and feeling peaceful in that.

Often, I have used my body as the barometer. If it reacts with a complete rejection of the initial statement, then I know this is not true and real for me. If there’s a hesitation, then maybe there’s something in that person’s perception of the situation that I need to look at carefully.

I trust you have enjoyed my blog post.

Until next week,


Maria Lacey was born in Australia. She has travelled extensively overseas being led by visions, dreams and spiritual guidance.

Maria writes about life (the human and spiritual path), the adversity, learning, musings and triumphs. A successful entrepreneur with over 18 years in her own business, Maria humorously states, “I am my greatest case study.”

Maria is a qualified Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Teacher, Meditation Teacher, Healer, Channel and Speaker.

Maria is currently writing her second book about her spiritual travels.

For further information about the author go to:

Maria’s first book –





By Maria Lacey

An award-winning author of One Path, Many Lights, a spiritual and personal memoir. Maria writes about life, the adversity, learnings, musings and triumphs. A therapist, healer, performance artist and speaker Maria humorously states, “I am my greatest case study.” For more information about Maria and her work visit her website at

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