The CAIR Handbook explains: “Our perceptions are filtered through our beliefs and assumptions, our internal dialogue (thoughts) and images, our physiological and behavioral responses, and our emotions. All of these interact to form a filter through which we experience the world. In the process of growing up in an unsafe environment, we make many decisions about ourselves, and the world outside of us.
These decisions form the filter of our Old Program. Over time we become addicted to this way of looking at the world, and the decisions that underly our filters become unconscious. If our filter sees us as inadequate and unlovable, positive feedback from those around us cannot get through. Keeping our internal view and rejecting the external information usually resolves the mismatch between how we see ourselves, and how others react to us. (Stop and discuss.)”
Your windshield filters what you see as you drive your bus. Imagine driving west into the sun in the afternoon, with bugs, grime, and dirt covering your windshield. What are you feeling as you drive along? What if you assumed that your poor vision was “just how you are” and there was nothing you could do about your poor visibility.
Someone sitting in the passenger seat would probably demand that you pull off at a gas station and clean your windshield, whether you thought it would help or not. They wouldn’t want to risk their lives as you drive blindly.
Are you ready to begin cleaning your windshield of the many distortions and filters that color everything you perceive? You may enjoy driving a lot more when you can see clearly to choose healthy driving. This concept of perceptual filters is key in the recovery process.