Perspective Is A Powerful 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 you 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 multiple points of view. The marriage of those points of view is probably the closest that you can ever come to the “whole truth”. Does your story say that roses have thorns, or that thorns have roses? It all depends on your perspective. Both statements are true, even though it might seem contradictory.
“We don’t see things are they are. We see them as we are” – Anis Nin
Perspective is from Latin perspectus “clearly perceived,” and is a way of regarding situations, facts, etc… and judging their relative importance. It is something that changes in our lives as your lives change. The perspective you have about something gets altered by life, by your own changes. It gets altered by time.
Have you ever had something happen to you, that at the time you viewed as the end of your world? Something that you defined as “the worst day of your life”. Then as the occurrence plays out over time, you do a 180 degree shift on your interpretation of the event. Say that you have planned the ultimate vacation, going on a cruise ship across the ocean. Then at the last second you couldn’t go. You are devastated. What if your once in a lifetime vacation was on the Titanic? Now, whatever happened to keep you from your vacation possibly saved your life. Now it might have shifted from the worst day. It might now be the luckiest day.
“What you see depends not only on what you look at, but also, on where you look from” – James Deacon
You have this habit of judging yourself and others by how you respond to things in life. You have this idea that emotions have some sort of time table to them. That things such as a death in the family should have a mourning time of no more than one year. A job loss, a week or two. A divorce should be over in six months. And so on. If you process it quicker you must not have depth of feelings. Longer, then you need to learn to let it go. These are all just arbitrary perspectives.
I was reading a story about a mom that had lost her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome. She was currently 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 still hurting so much.
The therapist used words that transformed how she was viewing her grief. She said you are just very sad. 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. In fact, it was the bottling it up, that was not allowing the emotions to pass through.
“You have the capability to change your life all with a simple shift in perspective” – Demi Lovato
You shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed of expressing your genuine feelings. Stories allow you the space to heal the pain. Once you have healed the pain, perspective helps you to stop being a victim. Life isn’t always fair, and no one should lose a child, no matter their age. But it happens. Sometimes the best thing you can do, is to not obsess about how things are. Instead take a deep breath in faith, that everything will work itself out for the best.
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for” – To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Every day if you look for it, you can see evidence of injustice happening all over the world. It is easy to get lost in the emotions created when it happens to you or to someone you love. You see evidence of it in the news, when the world erupts in moral outrage over terrorists bombings, the use of a truck to run down crowds of people, or the kidnapping of the school girls in Nigeria . Between 276 – 329 girls were kidnapped (depending on news sources) in 2014 and even though over three years have passed and some of them have been released, half are still missing. Yet the world was largely silent two years later.
You have large and small things that happen to you personally. Your friends and family can negatively impact on your life. But hidden in the heartache and challenges are golden nuggets that are the gift of the trials and tribulations that you 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 you. 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. I want to help the small community nonprofits be more successful. I want to help encourage people to use transformation to make positive changes in their lives. I use my writing to do this, and now we have created the LemonadeMakers monthly Zoom call to take it one more step. 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 everyone who wants to make a difference in their lives and in the world to do so. Out of the pain of injustice, loss, and deep mourning came something good.
“My desire is to stand by the fire that burns inside of you” -Martina McBride
The smallest change in perspective can change a life. See life with new eyes and look for the gift. Pull out the telescope (big picture) or binoculars (detailed picture) and peer deep inside yourself. Dig deep and find the gold of the experience. Change the story, and realize just how blessed you are. Do your roses have thorns or your thorns have roses? Do you see weeds or wishes?
“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” – Asha Tyson
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. Come join us for our next Zoom call. Bring all of those perspectives to the table and let’s see what we can make.