The idea that our perceptions determine the reality that we perceive is an old one. In a classic story, known as "Plato's Cave", Socrates describes how a group of men who are chained facing a wall observe shadows dancing across the wall in front of them. They have never known that these shadows are due to figures near the entrance to the cave moving behind them in front of a candle. To these men, the shadows are reality. One day one of the men turns around and sees that there are figures moving behind him casting their shadows across the wall. From that day on, the "reality" of the shadows no longer exists.
Changing my thinking—learning to and trying to --is my attempt to unchain myself and to see the reality of what is outside my cave. I realized this week that I have believed these shadows all of my life. I have made decisions about people and situations, about work and especially about love based on what I saw in the shadows. If my thinking and perceptions can change I will be able to unchain my heart.