There seems to be some confusion in my house about what “clean” is. I am a bit fanatic when it comes to cleaning the nest. But the rest of my family? Forget it. They perceive clean to include things like crusty dishes the sink, clothes dropped wherever they were standing when they took them off, and beard trimmings as bathroom decoration.
But they live with someone who washes her dishes before they go into the dishwasher, has two accessible (and decorative) laundry baskets, one for darks, one for lights, and of course a bathroom free of hair. Of any kind.
I grew up in pretty sterile environment, immaculately cleaned on a regular basis, we weren’t even really allowed to use the strategically placed wastebaskets. Well, that’s partially not true. We could use them, but they were assuredly emptied by the clean-can fairy every, single day. Problem is, I sort of do that now too, which made me start to question perception.
Perception: a result of perceiving. Observation. A mental image. Concept. Cognition. Consciousness.
Consciousness. Now there’s a term the world throws around a lot lately. Spiritual consciousness. Ethical consciousness. Moral consciousness. We’ve all got a lot to think about at the moment.
I have drawn an appreciation for perception, especially since the last presidential election. For many years of my life I thought most of us were on the same page. Turns out we weren’t. Everybody has their own idea of what will most comfortably make their own little world go around. And it’s not working out too well. Why does everybody think everybody else is wrong?
Sometimes they are. Moral consciousness is a big deal. The Me Too movement is helping lock down that one person’s perception of what’s ok when another’s isn’t, isn’t ok. There’s really not a lot of room for perception here.
Ethical consciousness, is similar, but a little different. This is where our personal thoughts reflect our social behaviors, like not eating chickens that were treated really badly by a corporate processing house during the birds’ short lives. I personally do not eat certain brands of chicken because I perceive the treatment of their slaughterhouse chickens to be inappropriate.
Spiritual consciousness is such a hot topic. We are part of a humanity that is slowly but desperately waking up. This one is about our connection to the unseen, to the Divine, to the concept that we are all part of one Infinite Consciousness, one Source, not separate from God, but part of God. Too much? Ok.
Environment matters. People matter. Self and self-care matters. Not being judgmental matters. A completely unselfish, tender, loving caring attitude matters. Better? Spiritual consciousness.
But let’s get back to perception. It’s the basis of all of these things called consciousness. It’s how we view situations and life and therefore respond to it. No two people really have the same perception. What one person thinks and feels is unique, no matter what, even when we try to walk in another’s shoes. Empathy helps, but it’s not the definer.
Which brings me back to the crusty dishes in the sink and a bathroom floor covered in beard trimmings. Does it really matter? Maybe not. But paying attention to somebody else’s perception – and giving it some serious thought – does. And it’s applicable to just about everything in life. Perfect.