Perception is everything

About five months ago my husband and I moved in order to be closer to family and for a job I had accepted. I was trying to get healthy but nothing was working. Somehow after we moved, I started losing weight. It wasn’t a conscious decision but it started happening and I have taken a more active role again in my health. The truth is, I’ve always been overweight and if you follow the BMI index I would still be considered morbidly obese, but I’ve already lost 25 lbs. I consider that a pretty big accomplishment. I haven’t lost any sizes on my clothing, I still have issues with certain activities and I still am often the first to get tired at Zumba class, but I still do it.

It does get disheartening once in awhile but I keep going. Trying new things and looking for motivation on the internet. I have been looking for new exercises, diet tips, recipes, anything to get me out of a workout rut and I noticed the people in those pictures. Always skinny, always smiling, and usually perfect.

As a photo enthusiast, I somehow remember the Cannon Camera ads with Andre Agassi saying “image is everything.” As a photo company, it was quite catchy and it made the point. It’s the photos that you want to remember, what is portrayed is what you get. Wrong. I take photos, I know and love the thrill of being behind the lens and capturing the beauty I see. I love the opportunity to express what exists and what can be revealed with some creative thinking. It isn’t the image which is important, it is the perception.

Before my husband and I started officially dating, we would hang out together and hike, go for coffee, talk, and be each other’s best friend. One blustery January day I wanted to go get some pictures of Duluth, Minnesota’s shipping canal since it had been very cold and there was some really interesting ice. Although close to shore everything was covered in ice and I didn’t want to go alone, just incase I slipped and cracked my head open. So I drafted my best friend who I certainly wasn’t dating.

He didn’t understand what I saw that night as the sun was setting behind us. The light was dimming and I was shooting frantically but I loved it. It was thrilling, and after I slipped a few times, he saw why I didn’t want to do this alone. We went for coffee afterwards, it was his reward for dealing with the cold, and he still couldn’t see what I saw from behind the lens. A month later I had the pictures developed, I was still shooting 35mm film, and he could finally see it. Our perceptions finally matched.

The same occurs when we talk about our faith. From teens and adults I too often hear, “my faith … my beliefs… I won’t tell others what to believe…” people fear sharing their perspective. However, without our personal experiences or our personal testimonies, we do not have the chance to evangelize those around us through our example. If we are seen to be loving, caring, exuberant disciples of Christ who would want to follow him. How we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves is everything.

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One thought on “Perception is everything

  1. Faith in God and love of the Church are meant to be shared with our neighbours, not kept to ourselves. God made us for community; that’s why we have the communion of saints. Thanks for this post.

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