The best example of how our minds focus and how we process the events around us, will be illustrated brilliantly in the video, below. It was made during research by Daniel Simons while at Harvard, (now at the University of Illinois) and Daniel Levin of Vanderbilt University.
Before you click the play button, understand that you are to focus on the players in the white shirts, and ignore the attempts of those in black, trying to distract you. You must count each time the ball is passed between those in WHITE shirts only…
( go here, to watch the video, -be patient while it loads- and hit back button to come back here.)
Now, that you have watched the video, you have a number in your mind of how many times the ball was passed between the white shirted people?
Well, forget that. Did you happen to notice the GORILLA??
If you are among the majority, you did NOT notice the gorilla.
Watch the video again…
See it now?
You saw what you were focused upon, and blocked out the rest.
Now, think about all those times when something happened unexpectedly, and you felt you had no warning. Maybe a person behaved in a way you identified as unpredictable or out of character…maybe you just chose to focus on the other things about them, and missed this crucial bit of information that wound up costing you money, time, aggravation and heartache.
After I saw this video, it had me thinking about all that for some time. Then I was reminded again, with recent visceral experience. It has served to verify what I already knew, but chose to forget: We see what we want to see, and we see only what we focus upon. If you don’t see XYZ, does it exist? For YOU, it doesn’t. However, that has no bearing on the fact that XYZ DOES or MIGHT exist. So awareness is important, and an awareness of our ability to be UNAWARE is also important.
I made some choices in my last relationship to ignore the things I should have taken seriously. I saw all the red flags, and yet, chose to overlook them in favor of some idealized and/or erroneous concepts, such as,
a) You must let your guard down, in order to find love, and,
b) the negatives in a person have no effect on the positives, and,
c) I am older, now, and being in love won’t feel the way it did when I was younger, and
d) I can force myself to feel something, merely because I want to.
None of these things turned out to be accurate. So much of my attraction-factor is based on the energy I exchange with a person, while sharing the same space. In other words, if I can’t date someone, no amount of promise on the phone and in emails will replace that chemical and energetic thing that happens when two people are a few feet away from each other. It’s inexplicable, and largely out of our control. You can sit in the garage and rev the engine, but that’s not the same as taking it for a spin.
Yet, how does that coincide with concept of “act as if”? Part of manifesting, is to place yourself in a space wherein you “act as if” something is already true. Perhaps it is more a question of whether or not it is POSSIBLE to be true. For instance, if I focused wholeheartedly upon the color of my walls turning from white to teal, is it likely that I will be able to make that happen? No. So if we wish or manifest things into reality, they must be possible manifestations.
In the case of a relationship or another person, if they are intrinsically incapable of being that thing you wish, or they are otherwise not evolved to the point where they can become that thing, then all the wishing and manifesting in the world won’t bring it to fruition. There are variables that tend to change the outcome of the equation. YOU might be capable of something, while THEY may not be. Personal evolution is self-contained. You do not have control over the inner processes in someone else’s consciousness, unless you are an expert brainwasher, a sorcerer or a demi-god. If you are none of those things, then the fact is, wishing won’t make that so.
So, where does that leave us? For me, knowledge is power. If I am aware of both my tendency to want to see only the positive, and my tendency to overlook the negative, then all I have to do is remain aware of both things, and not let one override the other. And I can, perhaps, avoid doing exactly as I am told all the time, like some mindless lemming. When someone says “Only look at this, not that” maybe I ought to secretly watch THAT, too; and in so doing, avoid plummeting off a cliff with all the other mindless lemmings.