Shadow Acting

Have you ever stopped to realize that something in your experience wasn’t exactly quite what you thought it was? An event or a situation that you interpreted one way, but as you look back, it takes on a new light?

For example, think of something in your past, something that happened, say five or ten years ago. And imagine as you were, just before that situation took place. And now imagine yourself as you were going through that situation. How does that feel? What do you see? What do you hear?

What meanings do you choose to give the events unfolding around you, now, as you remember what happened to you in your past? What was the one element of that experience that you chose to define it for you? Was it the way something appeared, or what somebody said, or something about the way somebody looked at you? Perhaps it was the way you felt afterwards?

For example, once I saw a guy talking into a mirror at the gym. He was standing really close, and he was really animated.  Talking with fluidly changing and almost chaotic facial expressions, arms flailing around. The meaning that I chose to give to that situation was that the guy was crazy. I could have given another meaning, since I really didn’t know what was going on, but that was my best, my quickest guess.

Now what happens if you take your earlier situation, and then move forward in time  a couple of years, or even right up until recently. Can you find another similarly structured situation, but with a completely different meaning that you decided to give it? What was different? Why was the second situation, which was similar to the first, different in the meaning that you gave it? Were there different, more familiar people involved? Was the setting more comfortable? Had the weather changed for the better?

In my situation, I saw another guy talking to himself in the mirror. I didn’t know him, but I surmised he was practicing for a performance, because he was standing outside of a theater that I go to sometimes. I saw two different guys, that I’d never met before doing the same thing, but I gave them two different meanings. One guy was loony, and one guy was a professional actor practicing his craft.

What was different for you?

One of the more interesting things about this, is that as you increase your understanding of your experience, and naturally apply different realizations, it follows that you can vastly increase your potential for flexibility in your perception. And when you can apply this flexibility in real-time, so you discover different choices for the meanings that you used to give automatically, your world will astoundingly open up.