Filters

Robert Goldstein wrote a blog about recognizing himself. If you aren’t following him I highly recommend it. He is very talented and wise.

I was thinking about his post as I was on my walk today taking pictures of randomness that caught my eye and allowed me to be mindful. A piece of grass still alive in an entire yard that was dead, a tree stump with one leaf and one acorn, a piece of fern coming back to live when everything around it had been frozen in the latest freeze, a camellia bush that was entirely red and one that is just like my 14 year old but at least 10 times it’s size, and a few feathers that I consider a reward for my picking up a few sticks in my yard.

As I looked at these photos on my camera they looked exactly as I saw them I tried one last one to see if my camera picked up the layers of blue in the sky and it did!

My camera showed me just what my eyes did.

Then I decided to take a picture of myself. It looked nothing like me. This wasn’t how I saw myself.

So I thought, ok. I have never used these filters before so I switched the dial and tried again.

Nope. Again.

Nope again and again.

Andddd no.

I tried the last one.

And I KIND of BARELY saw myself.

So why even with filters can I not see myself as I feel myself? When all of the other pictures I found beauty but I. Outdoor not find beauty in me?

But I feel beauty in me just not when I look at myself. That doesn’t even mean I think I am ugly. It is just the photo doesn’t capture all of me.

Sometimes when I have taken pictures of my daughter I feel like I have captured so many things in her. Her kindness,love,radiance,good heart.

And yet I think a photo can only tell you so much about a person. A flower,or sunset, the camera can capture. But we are too complex to capture in a photo and I think that is why even with filters I do not see me.

In the photos of me you don’t know the love, the pain, the suffering, or the joy. Even the filters cannot add that.

I suppose my conclusion is that we cannot be filtered and to truly capture me, you would have to know my heart because there I recognize myself.

29 thoughts on “Filters

  1. This is an excellent post Bethany. I’ve read that children who resemble the parent who abused them sometimes see the abuser instead of themselves when they look in the mirror or at a photo. That makes sense; I strongly resemble my Mother, which may be why I avoid photos of myself. I don’t know if that’s true for you. You’re daughter looks like a great person. I bet you’re proud of her.

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    • It was inspired solely from you!
      I really appreciated your post and learned a lot from it and delved into the same process to see where it took me.
      I look just like my father in many ways. My father who did nothing EVER and who walked away the first chance he could get, never defending or protecting his daughter. I often see him as we have the same hands, lips, nose and eye color. I have to really look past that to see the real me that is not just genetic parts

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      • Right. My Mother had black hair and Spanish features and my Dad was a blond. I look like my Mother. It’s nice to hear that my blog helps you. I blog about many things but my blog’s primary reason for being is to help people who struggle with mental health issues. We the least served and the most shamed people in a Nation that now treats most of its citizens shamefully.

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      • That last sentence really struck me.
        I do feel others shame me for what is not my shame. I do feel others do not understand or even want to understand how it feels to me and to show empathy or presence or compassion or anything at all.
        I often feel alone. I think this blog has kept me moving and without wordpress I would have just drifted away into oblivion.
        Yes your blog has helped me. A lot

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think some of those feelings of isolation are residual. I think more people understand than we know and that we have to give ourselves permission to experience the compassion and empathy of others. The callous are there too, there are too many cruel people in the world who labor under the delusion that they are the majority, but they’re not.

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      • This is true as I have experienced a great amount of support and love. The isolation has come from the abandonment of those who I thought loved me and the realization that they did not at any point along the way. Sometimes acceptance is knowing all of this. That is really why I started my blog which was to reach out in all honesty of every emotion and experience and revelation that I am having on this journey and embracing those who have accepted me as I am

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      • Yes I do understand this. My husband always says “keep them in the yellow. Don’t give them the green light right away or the red light. Just be cautious” whereas I have typically welcomed anyone and everyone with no boundaries out of habit and trauma. I have just learned, or been working on this in the last year. Unfortunately the seizures I had wiped out some of the memories of what I had accomplished and worked through so I am working through them again. I will tell my husband this epiphany and he will tell me I already had that a few years ago but he’s just glad I am realizing it again. So double epiphany.
        It is very hard for me to distinguish or see the red flags until it is too late and then I am stuck in freeze mode or just feeling played which leads to vulnerability which then leads to helplessness and it is a cycle I can only break with being mindful in the moment and focusing on right now and so I do that as often as possible. Especially my mindful walks and photography. It seems to keep me grounded

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      • Do it is possible to be diagnosed later in life then. I’m not sure how old you are. I was asking for another family member of mine actually.
        I wasn’t diagnosed wtih Tourette syndrome until a 43 but I knew I had it my whole life, I was also diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago but I did not know that I had that. I didn’t even know what it was and what my symptoms meant until the psychiatrist said it was all just under the umbrella of PTSD like dissociation during a flashback.
        Thanks for sharing all the information that you do

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      • I did not show the symptoms outwardly where others could see until i was in my 40’s after the muscle disease diagnosis and vulnerability.
        How do you know the difference in DID and derealization or depersonalization? Or can the coexist?

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