Oct 20

4/4 Our Personal Filters – our Sunglasses on Conflict Solutions

Over the years, I have come to respect the power of people’s beliefs.  The thing that has amazed me is that a belief is more than just an idea – it seems to shift the way in which we actually experience ourselves and our lives. 

What we believe about ourselves can actually hold us hostage.   It’s true:  “We do not see things as they are.  We see them as we are.”

      A belief is like a pair of sunglasses.  When we wear a belief and look at life through it, it is difficult to convince ourselves that what we see is not what is real.  With out sunglasses on, life looks a lot ‘greener’ to us.  Knowing what is real requires that we remember that we are wearing ‘glasses’.

One of the great moments in life is the moment we recognise that we have them on in the first place.  Freedom is very close to us then.  It is a moment of great power.  Sometimes because of our beliefs we may have never seen ourselves or like as whole before.

It’s a growth, a process to get from there to wholeness.  Often it is a decision to free ourselves from where we have been trapped in our beliefs, attitudes, judgements and shame.  It becomes an easier step then to find Truth.

Think through the following reflections and questions:

1.  Where do you think our ‘Sunglasses’ come from?

2.  Any examples of ‘Sunglasses’ you might know about your own beliefs at this time?  Where have these beliefs come from?

3.  Why are some ‘Sunglasses’ so hard to see and then ‘….to take ….. off’?  Once they were truth, or even half-truths …. Now?

4.  What sort of process do we all need to go through to recognise these Sunglasses in ourselves?

5. Explain the statement: “We do not see things as they are.  We see them as we are.”  What does this mean in your own journey?

6.  When we begin to realise that we are wearing Sunglasses, why is this such a “ … moment of power ….”?

7.  List two or three of the current belief structures you are working with today.  How might these be half-truths and heart lies for you now?


(Adapted from Kitchen Table Wisdom’, by Rachel Naomi Remen, Pan Macmillan Pub.  Sydney, 2002)

Over this next week, take the time and watch your own thoughts and words.  Can you catch some of your own ‘Sunglasses’ as you talk with people?  What about the ‘Christian Sunglasses’ we use with others who are not necessarily Christen?  Do we expect non-believers- to each our stands of Christian morals or behaviour?  How is this judgement and what are the results when this happens?

In our next post, we will set out other common blocks to good listening.  Join us then,

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author


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