The Greatest Gift
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
It is really all about the words and the meanings that we assign to them. That is because words tell the story, and the story is what is perceived to be the truth. When in fact the truth is always just your perspective, “your” side of the story. The only way to have the “whole truth”, is to be able to tell the story from all points of view. The marriage of those points of view is probably the closest that we can ever come to the “whole truth”.
Perspective is from Latin perspectus “clearly perceived,” and is a way of regarding situations, facts, etc… and judging their relative importance.
I read a story of a mom that lost her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome and she was working with her third therapist in seven months.
She wanted to know what was wrong with her, that even though she was wearing a mask to the outside world that she was moving on in her life, she felt that she must be doing the “grief” wrong because inside she was hurting so much.
The therapist used words that transformed how she was viewing her grief. She said you are just very sad, and the depth of your sadness is simply a measure of how much you loved your daughter. This viewpoint of “how deeply she loved her daughter” allowed her to express the overwhelming grief, instead of bottling it all up because “seven months” had passed.
Stories allow us the space to heal the pain, and once we have healed the pain, perspective helps us to stop being a victim. Life isn’t always fair, and no one should lose a child, no matter their age. But it happens.
Every day if we look for it we can see evidence of injustice happening all around us. It is easy to get lost in the emotions created when it happens to us or someone we love. We see evidence of it in the news when the world erupts in moral outrage over things like the Paris bombing, or the kidnapping of the school girls in Nigeria, that still over one year later haven’t been found.
We have large and small things that happen to us, our friends and family that have an impact on our life. But hidden in the heartache and challenges are golden nuggets that are the gift of the trials and tribulations that we experience. It is all about perspective.
It is about not only what you look at with the experience, but also where you are looking from, a point of view. Every experience has something to offer us. When my nephew was murdered, and my sisters nonprofit that she started failed, that could have been the end of it.
But I didn’t want that to be the end of my nephews story. So I created LemonadeMakers to help the small community nonprofits be more successful. So that others like my sister can make a difference in this world. I believe with all of my heart that this is what my life has been leading me to. To this moment, to create this business to help all of the nonprofits that I can reach. Out of the pain of injustice, loss, and deep mourning came something good.
The smallest change in perspective can change a life. See life with new eyes and look for the gift. Pull out the telescope or binoculars and peer deep inside yourself. Dig deep and find the gold of the experience. Change the story, and realize just how blessed you are.
Asha Tyson said, “Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is the right time.” Now is the right time to let go of what can’t be changed, and live the life that the divine has put before us, with happiness, gratitude and grace.