Today on the ride back to the sticks from home base I did what I usually do, which is sing off key and think too much. What I thought about was perception; how it's often not based on any kind of fact, but has a viscous fluidity about it like mercury in a thermometer. Your perception is your truth, your reality. Often nothing can shake you from it, neither logic nor fact can sway you from that which you perceive to be true.
The problem here is that most of the people who walk through the world have no sense of self awareness. They don't know what drives them, why they react, why they feel the way they feel. They cloak themselves in self-righteousness and arrogance to mask their fear and doubt and shame, because to look within themselves and face those things is so much more terrifying than living the lie. If they believe themselves to be prosecuted, then it must be true. If they believe themselves to be victims, then they are. If they feel that you are to blame for all that has befallen them, then you are. Such is the strength of perception.
I refuse to be defined by anyone else's perception of me, because I worked very hard to see myself in a brighter light than most people. I know the workings of my own machine, and it isn't always pretty but it feels more real to me than the fake face I used to wear growing up and through the early years of my adulthood. I am proud to be able to defend my self-perception with logical argument, and if I had a single wish for the world it would be that we could all enjoy that sense of inner peace.
It is this faith I have in myself that keeps me strong. It lets me know that I cannot be cowed by fate when I am true to myself.