There is a beautiful tree standing alone in a rolling green field near my home. It is so tall that sometimes when I pass it by, I almost imagine it to be a giant that has come down from the clouds to roll and play in the grass. The tree is gorgeous, silhouetted against the crisp blue sky. It is thriving, healthy, and has been a safe home to countless, happily chirping, baby birds. But what if I told you the tree will be cut down tomorrow by a large corporation to make room for a sprawling new office building? Would you feel sad for the tree? Angry at the corporation? Excited by the development? Nothing at all?

Your reaction is determined by your perception. Maybe you perceive the tree to be a safe haven and a treasure to be protected, because in your childhood, you swung from the branches and read books under a similar tree. Maybe you perceive the corporation as an evildoer, because in your life, a large corporation moved in and shut down a dear friend’s locally-owned store. Maybe you are excited at the thought of a new office building, because you come from a place of poverty, and a new office building opens the possibility of employment. Maybe you feel nothing about any of this. Maybe you didn’t even read past, “There is a beautiful tree,” because you couldn’t care less about a silly tree with everything else going on in your life right now.

All of this is perception. Your perception. When you realized the tree would be cut down, your life’s experiences decided your perception, your perception decided the emotion you would feel, and your body stored that emotion either positive or negative. You can learn to shift your perception, to accept the events and people in your lives exactly as they are through unconditional love and acceptance.

How would YOU feel about this tree? Why do you believe your perception has led you to feel that way? Please share your thoughts – they could be very helpful to other readers!