Do You Believe What You Perceive?

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“Perception is a mirror not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.” – – A Course in Miracles

I remember many years ago seeing the movie “Rashomon” (starring Toshiro Mifune and directed my Akira Kurosawa) where three people saw a murder committed and each saw it completely differently. Of course, each believed that what they saw was the truth. It is hard for many people to understand that perception is a mirror of what is going on for them on the inner level, rather than what is actually going on.

This is very apparent in our relationships with each other. For example, if you believe that you are not good enough – that you are in some way flawed, inadequate, unworthy, unlovable – and someone is rejecting you, it is very likely that you will take the other person’s behavior personally and believe that their rejecting behavior is about you.

But if you feel lovable, adequate, secure, and have high self-worth, you will likely believe that the other’s rejecting behavior has nothing to do with you – that it is coming from their insecurity and low self-esteem. Your perception of the other’s behavior is about your state of mind reflected outward.

If you believe that your worth is in your accomplishments, and someone at work is mean to you, you may conclude that, for example, you messed up a project. However, the truth may be that the mean person is having a hard time with his kids and is taking it out on you. If your worth is attached to your kindness rather than to your accomplishments, then you might conclude that the mean person is having a hard time and kindly ask him if he is feeling badly or needs help with something. Your beliefs determine your perception, which determines your actions.

Steven Covey, in his best-selling book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” tells the story of being on a subway train, quietly reading his paper. A man with a bunch of children got on the train, and the children started running around and making a lot of noise. Steven felt annoyed to have his quiet disturbed, and finally said to the man something like, “Sir, will you please control your children.” The man distractedly replied something like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You see, we just came from the hospital where their mother just died.” (I no longer have the book so this is from memory).

Steven Covey calls this a paradigm shift, where in a moment your whole perception of a situation is changed by new information. Because he originally believed that the man was just allowing his children to run wild and disturb others, he was annoyed, but his feeling changed to compassion as his perception changed due to hearing the truth.

Just as his annoyance was coming from a lie he was telling himself, our feelings often come from the lies we tell ourselves. We then project those lies onto others, and others reflect them back to us.

How can I know that I am telling myself lies? How can I know when what I perceive is accurate or a reflection of my own false beliefs?

There is actually a very easy way for us to know this. Our feelings are our inner guidance system, letting us know whether we are on track or off track in our thinking, or when something external is safe or unsafe. When you feel inadequate, unworthy, insecure, angry, anxious, depressed, and so on, this is your inner Guidance letting you know that you are telling yourself lies about yourself. When you feel compassion, caring, and inner peace, this is your inner Guidance letting you know that you are in truth.

Our perception is a mirror of our state of mind. Our state of mind determines many of our feelings, as well as much of our experience. What we perceive and experience changes as we change our state of mind, and Inner Bonding® is a powerful process for doing this.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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