Beauty is in the eyes of the perceiver

Many moons ago, my wife Trish and i went on vacation in Kauai. We both love water and swimming. On this trip we spent much of our days swimming and snorkeling.

One morning we were snorkeling around a nice calm cove. This cove was full of sea life. We were having a great time. I caught a glimpse of an octopus scurrying across the sandy bottom. I was very excited. I had never seen an octopus in the wild before. I tapped Trish on the shoulder and pointed to the octipus to be sure she saw it. She looked perplexed. We popped our heads out of the water so we could speak. “Did you see the octopus?” I said trying to tone down my enthusiasm. “No” she replied.

By this tie the octopus was posing as a rock on the bottom of the sea. I put my snorkel back in and dove down to within a few feet of the octopus and pointed at it. With Trish watching, in that moment the octopus squirted ink (a defense mechanism) and shot off away from me and then under a reef. I was tickled that we got to see the octopus in action. I shot back to the surface to exchange enthusiasm for the experience with my wife. Only she did not have any enthusiasm. She did not have enthusiasm because she did not see the octopus. She was looking right at me and the octopus when it inked. There is no way she could have missed that. But she did. Despite the fact that she was watching, she did not see the sea creature. I was perplexed. How could she not have seen it?

As it turns out, the idea of swimming in an ocean near an octopus is just a wee bit more than Trish’s Reality will permit. She enjoys octopuses on TV nature shows, but not in an ocean swimming beside her.

I had seen the octopus and Trish had not, despite the fact that we were sharing the exact same moment. Neither of us were lying about what we had seen. Both of us had good vision. But side by side, in the exact same spot at the exact same time we each perceived reality our own way. Her version is her truth. My version is my truth. Every person perceives reality their own way. We are each our own creators of our own reality. It’s all about perception.

Trish did not love the idea of swimming with eight legged sea monsters, and i on the other hand felt privileged to do so. If there were ten of us there snorkeling in that spot at that moment, we might each have ten fairly different versions of what each of us experienced. This is is the beauty of the human experience. We are each on our on journey. Enjoy your journey and respect the journey of others.

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