It's as plain as the nose on your face
Or is it? Perhaps things are not as black and white (or gold and white in this case) as we sometimes think.
The echoes of #dressgate continue to reverberate throughout social media. My son and I were sitting on the couch when he showed me the picture, on his phone, of the now infamous dress. He asked what colors I saw. I suspected a trick question, but answered truthfully, black and blue. It was obvious.
My son laughed skeptically and informed me he saw a gold and white dress. We checked with my wife who saw a gold and silver dress. Same picture, three different perspectives. What's going on?
The explanation given for the dissimilar testimonies revolves around light wavelengths, visual cortex, and how each individual processes the information their senses acquire. It seems they are not the same. Of more importance to me are the parallel lessons to be learned about our own stubborn beliefs and willingness to defend them. And perhaps we can extend the experience to grow a bit in our understanding of well-being.
@alexismadrigal tweeted, "The dress should remind us all: what you see is mostly a projection of what your brain expected to see." When it comes to wellness, it is the same. Our expectations can be downright destructive to health. After all, aren't the so-called "rules" of well-being hinged on age, decline, parts wearing out, etc.? And don't we expect to see evidence of this played out in our own lives and on our own bodies? Sometimes, we let our own convictions convict us.
It can be problematic to maintain health when our focus is directed toward all the maladies we are told we are susceptible to. The normal expectations of wellness are lowered dramatically by visions of sickness that we unwittingly reinforce in our thoughts and conversations.
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." This ancient Biblical wisdom has practical applications today. It is our attitudes and anticipations - our thought-models - that lend themselves to better or worse outcomes. Unfortunately, human thinking lends itself to fears and worries upon which it relentlessly fixates. Mortal consciousness seems hypnotized by an ever-repeating rant of uncertainties.
"Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees," wrote Mary Baker Eddy. "It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts." Just like those who swore the dress was white and gold, we believe what we see and are ready to protect our position at all costs. And Eddy makes a good point as she continues, "Pictures are mentally formed before that artist can convey them to canvas. So is it with all material conceptions."
If daily living is our canvas, what impressions are we throwing out there based on allegiance to some fairly hideous concepts about life and health that we have never considered questioning? After all, our senses do not lie...right?
Craig Silverman, writing about the lessons of the dress from a journalist's standpoint said, "Let it be a reminder of the fact that what we think we are seeing, hearing and understanding may in fact have no connection to fact." Point well taken.