321. Perception is Reality


This post is a bit of a rant.  There is no particular story with this post.  Just sharing various disparate thoughts about perception.  It’s a bit about how it is so easy for all of us to be hypnotized by fragile and comforting lies and disregard those inconvenient truths that undermine those lies.  It’s also a bit about our fear of being vulnerable.  I am not throwing stones.  I am not immune from this.  None of us are.

I’ve done four or five posts about fielding questions from my sisters regarding TTWD.   One was questioning me again, and it reminded me a lot of what I posted the last time she questioned me (239. Filters: As you sow so shall you reap).

Since we are sisters, you’d think we share a lot of the same filters.   We do, but they are not exact.   There are things she takes as fact that I do not.  And things I take as fact that she does not.  Of course, we all like to think facts are facts, but there are facts and there are also beliefs, and there are things you want so badly to believe that they become facts to you.   And all your behaviors serve to reinforce these “facts.”  Such was the point of my about Filters.

And without getting into the specific details of my sister’s questions, it was basically about the swinging and the sex I have with other men.   Yeah, I REALLY shouldn’t have ever told her about my blog!!   Oh well, too late.  Hi Sis!  

When we have these discussions my intent is to help her understand that this dynamic is right for me.   For one, I know she cares about me and she wants to be convinced that I am convinced.  But of course, I understand that believing in my dynamic is important to me.  I am very invested in it.  I want to believe it so badly that it is not a belief, it is a fact. It must be.   

And for her, my dynamic is so foreign to her that refuting it is important to her.  She is very invested in abhorring it.  She wants to believe it so badly that it is not a belief, it is a fact.  It must be. 

So I give her the most meaningful evidence there is.  The unequivocal, undeniable evidence of MY experience. Where I am today and how happy I am today in all aspects of my life.  Nope.  She is not only unshaken in her stance, but even MORE convinced of the “truth” of her beliefs than ever before.  

It’s a classic case of what psychology literature calls “motivated reasoning.”  Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves to remain convinced of what they want to believe.  It’s that “filters” thing I mentioned in that other post.  You seek out agreeable information and you “let that in” very easily.  Simultaneously you avoid, ignore, devalue, forget, or argue against (i.e. filter out) information that contradicts your beliefs.  And thus we have Fox News.  LOL.

Seriously, I am not throwing stones.  I am not immune to this.  I don’t read or follow any blogs that say any of TTWD are bad, but I follow plenty extolling its virtues.  I surround myself with people who accept my lifestyle and avoid those who don’t (or they avoid me!).  I love reading things that promote being vulnerable, open, honest, and trusting in your relationships.  And to me, I assume that vulnerability must extend to include sexual desires and fantasies. 

Here’s an interesting article that definitely won’t do anything to change your mind about anything.  I guarantee it!  But it did help me better articulate my thoughts for this post.  Here’s another great post dealing with perception from a blogger I follow whose blog is titled,Must be this Tall to Ride.”  

And I loved the final sentence, “It’s merely an opportunity to check your own biases and bullshit at the door.”  

That’s really hard to do.  I am fortunate that I am close to my sister.  We can have very frank talks about anything and everything, and no matter if we agree or disagree we love and respect each other. 

We both have something in common that really helps us to have meaningful conversations.  We both strive to check our biases and bullshit at the door and are receptive when the other is quick to challenge the other persons’ biases and bullshit.  Well, at least a little receptive.  It’s still hard.  No amount of sisterly love can make such discussions easy.

So what is my point of this post?   I think it is to illustrate that we all look for validation of our actions and feelings.  And guess what?  There is almost always plenty of stuff out there to validate them.  You just have to focus on what validates them and ignore what doesn’t.  You’ll feel vindicated and validated! 

But that is not what personal growth is about!  Personal growth is about challenging your beliefs and perceptions about the world.  And that’s the similarity between me and my sister – we are willing to have our beliefs and perceptions questioned.  We both joke that growing up we didn’t understand why the sermon’s at church didn’t end with “any questions?”   We came to understand why, but I digress. 

It’s that willingness to challenge my perceptions that allowed me to consider DD.  And it’s what has allowed me to be open to all of life’s possibilities.  To me, that is what it means to truly be alive!   And my willingness to fully be open to life’s possibilities has changed my life in ways that go beyond TTWD.  

To get something you never had, to experience something you’ve never experienced, to live a life you don’t have but always wanted — you have to be open to something you’ve never been open to.  Of course, it’s uncomfortable.  It means challenging and even disregarding the comforting lies that blanket your life. 

And yes, it doesn’t have to mean being open to being a Dominant, or being submissive, or swinging, or anything kink related – but here’s a hint — it’s sure fun if it does!

It doesn’t even have to be a life-altering thing.  Just pick one thing that you believe as fact, and really allow yourself to be vulnerable and challenge that belief.  For me, it is as addicting as it is painful.  Yep, it’s painful to discover the falseness of something you swore was fact.  But it’s also liberating and addicting.   If you haven’t figured it out, I am addicted to vulnerability.  

It’s official.  I am a weirdo. 

And if you DO want it to be life-altering, don’t just be vulnerable to your own closely held “facts,” but be vulnerable to and with your partner in life.  Now THAT is life-altering! 

Yawn!  Okay, Jen, enough of your drivel.   You do get spanked now and then, don’t you?  Tell us about that.   And you speak of all this sex and swinging, but where are the details?    Forget your friends and family and your rants.  Give us the tea!!!

Alright.  I’ll consider it.


9 thoughts on “321. Perception is Reality”

  1. I have been open with my sister too. She doesn’t understand TTWD any more than yours does and when I disclosed that we also included others in our circle of intimacy, she about died. However, the questions are genuine and come from a place of love and heartfelt need to find a way to understand why I love this way. She is gay and so has some idea that loving people differently than the norm is a challenge to live in truth. However, she thinks this somewhat poly/open marriage situation we have is fraught with possible pitfalls and heartache. I appreciate your honesty about how you continue to navigate it with your sister. It is much the same as we do too. Communication and being willing to confront biases is key.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. next you’ll probably say we actually landed men on the moon, or that Trump wasn’t sent by God to save our country, or that Alex Jones isn’t the most insightful pundit of our time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have found, in all things, that perception is believed more than the truth; if you think something is a bad thing, then it’s bad and it will continue to be bad even when it can be proven that it’s not as bad as believed or perceived. The perception: A relationship like yours is wrong and on multiple counts of wrongness… because that’s what people are made to believe. You can – and probably have – explained your relationship in as much exacting detail as you deemed necessary and, knowing you, intelligently so… and nothing you’ve said is ever going to change their mind even though they just might even agree that you are, in fact, doing something very right for you and yours.

    Or, as I like to say, “Yeah, but…” and what follows is their perception and a perception that stays pat despite having the truth handed to them on a silver platter.

    I used to get subjected to this in my poly relationship and, at some point, I just got sick and tired of trying to explain things to people and more so when I knew and had learned that I could explain it until I got blue in the face… and their perception isn’t going to change. Married folks should not ever be inviting other people into their marriages and doing all kinds of “nasty shit” – this is the perception. The truth is, um, yeah, some of us do just that and have been made better for it, here’s the proof – what do you think now?

    And guess which thing they’re gonna believe – the perception and never the truth. It’s amazing and it says a lot about humans in general and how this stuff affects our view of the world around us. As a bisexual, I get this all of the time: Men should never, ever be bisexual… except, the truth – and a truth that they’re aware of (unless they’ve been living in a cave somewhere) – is that guys are/can be bisexual. Again, which thing do you think they’ll hold onto even when provided with undeniable, irrefutable proof?

    Their perception. Never the truth. People believed that the world was flat and continued to believe it after it was proven that it wasn’t – no one falls off the edge passing the horizon – and in true human fashion, purveyors of the truth were persecuted, prosecuted, and just all jacked up for heretical thoughts. It’s a behavior that’s programmed into us and it’s damned difficult to break that programming. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth… and the truth is that we can’t and, ironically, more so when we insist on hearing the truth in all things…

    Except when the truth doesn’t match one’s perceptions.

    Liked by 3 people

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