Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Only Through My Own Eyes

Our adventures and personal experience colour every facet of our lives. How I view events, people, situations and places must be different to the way you view them.

I am still surprised at the differences between the account of my brother, my sister and me when we recall childhood events and their impact. Occurrences that are huge in their memories are minor in mine, even though I was present - and of course the opposite is also true.

Who am I? Who are you in relation to others in your family? As the middle child of three children, my life was obviously different to those of my brother and sister. Our personalities are different, our experiences are different.

My view of life is absolutely shaped by a million conversations my brother and sister were not present to hear, as well as fortunate meetings, happy events and disappointments I experienced when they were not around.

I can see life accurately only through my own eyes, not my mother's, my father's, my brother's or my sister's. I can practise seeing part of myself in everyone I meet. I can appreciate, but never fully understand, the complexities that have shaped others. The only person I can work on is myself.

Who am I in terms of being a neighbour, a work colleague, a lover, a friend? I wear different disguises. I wear different masks for all these people. I even wear masks for myself when my ego sidles up to greet me.

Every event and conversation I have is coloured by who I am and my values. I attempt to have a clear perspective. I attempt not to judge. I attempt to weigh the pros and cons and let the facts speak their truth.

The only way I have found a reasonable path through this dilemma is to listen, question, and listen some more.

I work at not hurrying to provide answers. I am a sounding board for others, I have decided, and more and more I realise the person talking has his or her own answers. They just haven't identified them yet!

“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Anais Nin (French born American Author of novels and short stories, 1903-1977)

My sister Heather, me and my brother Peter in 1970.

My family - March 2005


McMGrad89 said...

Lovely pictures of the three of you. I laughed when you were talking about events being seen from different perspectives. My mother and her sister are always arguing at family dinners about how things didn't happen that way or this way. My brother and I, however, lived such separate lives growing up (except those long summer roadtrips) that there isn't much discussion as to who is right or wrong as we shared very few of the same experiences as children.

jen said...

I agree - LOVELY pictures! I have three siblings and we are all so different, and yet much the same. I must say, you Aussies make some very good lookin' folk!

TheChicGeek said...

Love the picture of you and your siblings, Peggy :) It is true that the world is colored by our experiences and the same 3 can watch the same event and each take something different from it. To me, this is something I love about the world. It's what makes life exciting. It always amazes me! Great thought provoking post!
Have a Beautiful Day!

Christine said...

you made me think today...everyone sees things a bit differently and not to judge...I'm naturally judgmental!

Hybrid J said...

Fantastic post and wonderful pix!

This is what I like to create stories from different view points as this reflect our reality. We might want to belive that we are objective but at the core of our perception is our Self - that is a subjective view.

Also memories change shapes and color as we grow older. Or at least that happens to me. :)

Silver said...

Couldn' agree with you more ! Even the best couples or sibblings will come a time when you just can't see some things eye to eye.. sometimes a middlepath can be met. Sometimes.. when there is none, it's a sad end.

Silver said...

You're a pretty hot dish, girl..(not saying that you're not now..think of ourselves as cheese or wine. it gets better..;)

Caroline said...

Wonderful post Peggy...interesting how our own story unfolds, with all the different points of view. Love the now and then photos!!!

miruspeg said...

Annemarie - I remember you relating that story about your mother and her sister; sounds like you have interesting family discussions. The memories of those long summer roadtrips will always be there for you and your brother to share.

Jen - 'Aw shucks' thats very kind of you to say that.

Kelly - We are definitely on the same page. It is wonderful that everyone is different and takes something different away from a shared event. How boring would it be if walked along the jetty of life each seeing the same thing.

Christine - I did say I attempt not to JUDGE! Old habits die hard!

Hybrid - I love reading or listening to stories with different points of view. I feel that is the only way of learning where I stand regarding that particular subject.

Silver - Quite often I don't see eye to eye with my siblings but blood is thicker than water and we have learnt to agree to disagree. As for my ex-husband....that was just a sad end.
BTW if I didn't colour my hair red there would be nothing hot about me!!

Caroline - Photos and music certainly help us remember different events in our lives.
That photo in 2005 was the last family one taken before my father died in January 2006....I think we all have similar memories about that time we spent together.

Anonymous said...

It is a task to know ourselves let alone others. What I love is that people I have known for years continually reveal new aspects of themselves. Another thing that fascinates me is 'first impressions'. I remember meeting one friend who was just plain difficult at first. It was in an office situation, and I have to say she rubbed people up the wrong way. She did it to me too - but I let it go. When I got to know her better - she was the most amazing friend. It was her sheer honesty that got her into trouble. So I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you to just listen for a bit, hold back, and see the real 'whole' person emerge. It is usually worth it.

HappyOrganist said...

Peggy, do you color your hair? or is it naturally red? (or strawberry or whatever you want to call it). I just ask, 'cause it .. doesn't look red in the first picture. ;-)
You do look like my mom, though (first pic. not any of the others).

miruspeg said...

Healingstones -
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression".
This is one of the best quotes I have ever heard, and it is so true!
If only we all remembered this.

It is delightful when we see our friends grow into wise old souls.

miruspeg said...

HappyOrganist -
Yes I have been colouring my hair since my mid twenties.
I had very blonde hair as a child and when it changed to a light brown I coloured it blonde.
About eight years ago my hairdresser suggested I change my hair colour to red/copper as I have a pale complexion.

HappyOrganist said...

Looks very nice.. from here ;-)

Fly Girl said...

Peggy, I love the pictures...! What a beautiful family you have!

I'm the youngest of three sisters. All three of us are very different, too, with our own perspectives of the world, yet we've never discovered that we were off in our recollections. Every few years, I try to piece together the roadmap of our lives -- where we lived when. That's about the only thing we get confused on, and I've learned to take their word for it since I was much younger!


Monica said...

I would consider myself a sounding board too. So many people just need someone to listen. I think sometimes you can really sort things out by talking to someone else. It definitely works for me.

I love the then and now photos, a very sweet touch.

Sharmaine Kruijver said...

Wow! I love the photos too!
Just dropped in to say hi :)

miruspeg said...

Roban - Yes I feel very blessed to have been born into that family (or to have chosen this family for this life). I like your expression "the roadmap of our lives".....because I LOVE roadtrips!

Monica - I ALWAYS need to talk about my problems - mainly with my mentor. As I grow older I am finding I 'see the light' alot quicker than I did before.

Sharmaine - Long time no speak! I bet you it is getting chilly down in Tassie. I will pop over for a chat shortly.

Nina P. said...

I had to smile when reading this. I'm the third oldest of 6 and you are so right; when we get together and talk about old events, it's as if we were from different families!! :-D I like to say if you had 3 people watch the same movie, you'd get 3 different takes on it... One might see it as a Love Story, another an action movie, another a mystery... yet there it is, on film one verson, with many views.... Thank you for the memories... Love and Light, Nina P.

Silver said...

I disagree.

You'll be hot in any colour. It's in the attitude, like my Hair stylist would say.

Hey, you changed the Header picture! Nice !

miruspeg said...

Nina - Books and movies depending what headspace we are in ascertains where we focus on the story. I have experienced that often with friends when discussing the movie or book afterwards.

miruspeg said...

Silver - Thanks for the vote of confidence...very sweet.
My new header photo features the octahedron fluorite pendant which was a gift from a wonderful blogging friend Healingstones. Aren't I just one of the luckiest people alive to receive such a beautiful gift!

Anonymous said...

I like the new picture you have at the top! ;0) That purple cord goes so well - and brings out the purple in the stone!

miruspeg said...

Healingstones - Yes it does my sweet friend. My favourite colour used to be blue and now it is purple.
Purple makes me feel luxurious and little bit rebellious.