“There are three sides to every story; yours, mine and the truth.”
This is one of my favourite sayings.
Two people can stand side by side witnessing a car crash but when asked to tell what happened both will offer up a slightly different version of the event.
Why? Because humans filter information using their own personal past and present conditionings and experiences to comprehend how to respond.
Perhaps one of the two people may have witnessed a similar accident before and used memories of that incident to process this one. Perhaps the other person may not have witnessed any kind of crash before so having no past experiences to draw on, their mind may have had trouble processing the scene.
It was only later, once their mind had time to overcome the shock of witnessing a traumatic scene that the sequence of the crash unfolded into a memory that made sense for them to understand. By then, having re-played the scene over and over in their mind, personal coping filters have settled in place and the story has taken on a slightly different slant.
Nostalgia also acts as a filter for our memories. Time purifies the past so that we can look into our memories and recall events through rose coloured glasses. It is so much easier to recollect only the good parts of our history.
Who hasn’t said, “It wasn’t that bad.” or, “It could have been worse.”
Let’s face it, there would be significantly less humans on this planet if women only remembered the pain of childbirth. Yet most women when asked would happily do it again and only remember the joy of holding their child in their arms for the first time.
Still, if you want to avoid past mistakes repeating themselves sometimes we have to remove the filters put into place that are meant as protective barrier’s against painful memories and wade through the facts to honestly re-access what really happened. Only then can we make better choices moving forward.
This can be a daunting task especially if you have a tendency to look for the positive in situations. Those rose coloured glasses may be firmly attached. If that’s the case, does it even matter if bad stuff happens? You’ll only spin it to reveal the sunny side of the situation anyway and who wouldn’t want to live in that kind of happy go lucky world.
Then again, clearly seeing the situation, any situation for what it truly is creates the drive for change. That’s where the third side of the story, the truth, comes into play.
Just the facts. No romanticizing the outcome, no softening the edges of a nasty past, and definitely no filters. When you look at the story objectively, warts an all it gives a balanced picture, what was your part in it, who else was involved, what mistakes where made and why was the outcome the way it was.
So whether you choose to go see life through coloured filters that shade your perception of life, be it rosy pink, pea green with envy, melancholy blue, angry red, or scaredy cat yellow, don’t forget to remove them every once in a while and see the world clearly for what it is. The crystal clear colour of truth.