Perception- the United States economy is based on perception. You know, it was only recently that I realized that the dollars we spend have no backing in actual wealth. What gives the dollar its power is perception. If we perceive the country as successful, the dollar is strong. If we perceive it as unsuccessful, the dollar is weak. I am no economist nor do I pretend to be. I know that I have just simplified the United States economy into three sentences and it is much more complicated than that but I find it remarkable that one of the biggest things that fuels our life, money, is based on perception.
After thinking about this for a moment, I realized that perception is what fuels almost all of our lives. I realized that oftentimes my perception of others keeps me from taking a step forward; from introducing myself and creating a connection. The other night, I went to a singles party, a terrifying experience for me for a number of reasons. But I let go of my fears and decided to step into a room I wouldn’t have dared step in a year ago. I had an open mind, ok not completely open but I went anyway. I noticed that I automatically perceived people as uninterested in talking to me, when that may or may not have been the case. My perception was that men at this party were only interested in thin, less intelligent un-opinionated women and I was not one of them. And then, holding on to my belief, I allowed myself to feel less than. I allowed myself to accept my perception of how others were viewing me regardless of the truth. Rather than being open to new experiences, I was ruled by my old way of thinking.
I recently went to Arizona and I decided that while I was there I was going to live it up; take care of myself, dress nicely and really allow myself to feel good. I let go of my perceived insecurities and embraced myself as I am. It was liberating. I never had a better time in my whole life. Living in the moment and letting go of old perceptions opened me up to an experience I never thought I could have. The love and kindness I received in those two weeks were like nothing I had ever experienced in my whole life (not to mention the constant male attention). In letting go of my perception of the world I was open to new possibilities, and boy was it fun.
What can we let go of in this moment so that we can meet new experiences and allow ourselves the freedom to embrace the moment without the fear of past insecurities? I offer you an opportunity to let go of the perceived obstacles and meet life with openness and freedom. You never know what will unfold.
Rabbi Esther Azar