Seeing Red

Please place your right hand on the Bible and repeat after me. “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God?”

She must think I am a failure because I am a failure. I am a failure in life as people have told me so directly and indirectly. It must be true because I have failed so many times in the past. I shouldn’t even try because I know I will fail. I know a thousand other truths about myself and others that must be fact because they are all supported by evidence. I have lived my whole life accepting these truths, as there is no denying what I see. The evidence is damning, and to suggest otherwise is pure idiocy that indicates the presence of a blind handicap.

Until I began recovery I never even knew there existed an argument to counter such condemning proof that did not border on the absurd. In recovery, I heard an aphorism that sounded sensible and foreign at the same time. Even for me the addict, this axiom appeared too drastic for me to try. I couldn’t readily accept the concept that “perception is reality”, as it challenged my entire process of thinking. Can it be justifiable if it undermines everything already ascertained to be real? How can something so simple be accurate?  If it is existent, then how have I never known it before?

The more I thought about this radical view the less radical it became, and the more I applied it the more authentic it appeared to be. It completely removed other people’s hands in my determinations and left it solely up to my own convictions. It granted permission to take my vision and question its validity. I think I have always known of its existence but chose to label it as subterfuge instead of seeing it for what it is; the entire mechanism behind the process of shaping fact & fiction.

I have no idea what she is thinking as I cannot read her mind. People have told me I am a failure does not mean I am a failure; it means they are wrong in their perception. Because I failed in the past does not define me as a failure, it means I tried, and that makes me a success. I have absolutely no clue what will happen the next time I try, and the past does not determine the future. The same words that sound like a copout, become a very real tangible reality. If the way I see things constitutes the hardcore evidence, this radical notion questions the legitimacy of that evidence, paving the way for new equally legitimate. The more I buy into this radical belief it alters my reality from being a failure to being a success.

It is by no means easy, and I struggle with it every day. It is akin to decades always trusting my eyes to provide me confirmation of the world only being red, only to find out that those same eyes can look at the same exact world and see blue. Not every day do I overcome my accustomed perception of red, but the days I try I am so much happier to see blue

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