Perspective. It’s kind of everything and yet at the same time, how much of our perspective is informed by reality?
The answer to that is, well, it depends.
From a nervous system perspective, your perspective- and what informs it- will differ wildly depending on whether you are functioning from a parasympathetic or sympathetic place. The bulk of our brain is largely dedicated to sensory and motor function, and when we are parasympathetic, all of these brain parts are online and active. Consequently, our perception and understanding of what is happening are informed by the sensory information of the moment.
What does that mean? It means is that functioning from this position, your responses are directly connected to your immediate experience, and consequently, you are able to respond based on that information also. Your perspective is reality.
In sympathetic, however, things start to shift. As we move through the active stages of the fight/flight response, the parts of our brain informing us in parasympathetic move offline, and we are left functioning only from our reflexive motor centre, our association centre (hello projections!), and our cognitive centre. As a result, we are no longer responding to new sensory information coming in but old patterns and stories that have shaped our experiences in the past.
In this place, our perception is no longer shaped by the moment we find ourselves in but all the moments that came before. Which explains a lot when we think about triggers and patterns that might trip us into sympathetic and send us on a loop of repetitive experience.
Perception. We always have to check ours at the gate.