It is Friday the 13th. Does that send a little shiver through you? Will you do anything different today? Do you consider yourself to be superstitious? Or maybe you think superstition is a bunch of baloney?
Personally, I don’t consider myself superstitious. I don’t think things like Friday the 13th (or walking under a ladder, having a black cat cross your path, stepping on a crack…) should matter. How could a little thing like that possibly really make a difference? Somebody just made it up somewhere along the line, and now I’m supposed to worry about that? No way! Nah, Friday the 13th doesn’t matter!… BUT, then again… there’s that little thought in the back of my head, that little voice that says “Well, I guess it doesn’t hurt to be careful… I mean, you never know…” There’s a little sprig of belief. No need to tempt fate, right?
Sometimes when I get home there’s a small black cat lounging by my front door. I’m pretty sure he belongs to my neighbors. Depending on my mood, I either: a) smile at the presence of a cat, b) feel skittish and hope he doesn’t run right in front of the door, c) laugh at myself for ever thinking that this cute cat could be bad luck, while still feeling a little strange about the black cat by my front door…
Did you see what I said there? Depending on my mood. Do you know what I mean? When we’re in a bad mood anyways, everything seems darker, right? When we’re in a good mood anyways, “bad things” don’t seem so bad, they roll off our backs or maybe we don’t even notice them. I bet there have been days that cat was there and none of the above happened – I didn’t even notice the cat to have a thought about it.
What I’m trying to say is that our perception is our reality. If I saw the black cat and then something bad happened, I might think the black cat was unlucky. If I saw the black cat and then narrowly escaped something bad, I might believe that I somehow cheated bad luck. If I didn’t notice the black cat and something bad happened, I wouldn’t connect them at all – superstition and luck wouldn’t come into play. On the other hand, if I saw the black cat and something good happened, I might think superstition was baloney. If I had been working hard and something good happened, I might think my hard work made the difference. If I had recently asked for help and something good happened, I might think that asking for help made the difference.
It appears that the important thing is the belief, not the reality. If you believe you’re lucky, you’re lucky. If you believe that bad things will happen, bad things are more likely to happen. Those who kept luck journals saw their luck increase. Those who were told the ball they were using was lucky actually performed better. If we believe that an item will help, if we perceive that an item will help, it helps!
This is the Law of Attraction, that “like attracts like”. That whatever we think about is what we manifest for ourselves. That if we put a particular need or request out into the universe, we can create that result for ourselves. Our counseling team here is pretty bullish on the Law of Attraction. I’m still learning, and sometimes I can be a skeptic, but here’s what I know for sure: we tend to see what we look for, and we tend to perceive things through the lens we’ve been looking through in our day-to-day lives. Does it really matter if it is actually having an effect (and it very well may be) as long as we feel it is having an effect? If we feel happy, or we feel lucky, or we feel we’re progressing towards our goal… well then, we are. Perception is reality.
You know what the great thing about perception is? You can change it! Check back with the Life Skills Resource Group blog for more on how to change your perception, coming soon! And if you are feeling that you need help changing your perception, dealing with a phobia (like fear of Friday the 13th!), or sorting out beliefs, give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378. Our experienced counselors are here to help, including Orlando child counseling with Amy Smith and Orlando individual counseling with Summer Katz (who was instrumental in thinking through perception and reality for this blog), as well as all of our counselors.
Maybe, just maybe, choose to perceive Friday the 13th as a fun day… sort of like Halloween 🙂 ~Krista Bringley