Perspective is everything! The way you see it, the way I see it and how each and everyone of us sees something is unique. Yet, sometimes we listen to the news, or see an ad or read an article on the web and our perspective changes. Or, perhaps without even thinking about it, we find ourselves migrating to mostly how others see it.
THE WAKE-UP CALL
But, when something occurs outside the realm of our day-to-day routine, it wakes us up and we all take notice. Once, I saw an elderly woman on the news being interviewed in response to an 82,000 acre mountain range fire that called for a state emergency. Her look and her words gave me a chill as I listened when she looked directly into the camera and remarked: “Regardless as to whether or not I lose my home, and I hope I don’t, I guarantee you, I will never look at life the same way.”
That shook me to my bones. Or, some would say to my Soul. Her words were potent. She didn’t cry, she didn’t shout out, she just said what she meant. It was her truth!
That’s perspective. We take in new information via our senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing, tasting, smelling), or, we might experience something and be responding to the demands of the moment. Whatever the modality, it’s the shift in perspective and the learning that we derive from it that is the beauty and power of life! In that moment, we shift our awareness and broaden our understanding of ourselves and of life! That’s the moment of magic.
I would venture to say that the woman on the newscast, didn’t brush it off if she went and found her house standing after that monstrous fire. I got a sense that she meant what she said. In that moment she had awakened like the sleeping giant whose one eye pops open and awareness descends.
Life has lots of wake-up calls. However, I would not presume that we are wide awake for every wake-up call that passes us by. Sometimes, the sleeping giant just continues to snore. To me, the important thing is that at some point we not only open up our eyes and see what is happening around us, but we take in all that we need to, in order to survive and thrive. What do I mean by thrive? I mean: Learn, Grow and Evolve.
VALUES SHIFT AS OUR PERSPECTIVE SHIFTS
Personally and professionally I take those values to heart: Learn, Grow and Evolve.
If I don’t, then I’m just taking up space and standing still. I’m not a cause fighter, rather more of a cheerleader to others. I help support others in achieving their potential, to help them propel themselves towards fulfilling their dreams, desires and hopes.
Throughout life as we grow chronologically in age, we grow taller and older. Hopefully, we also acquire information, education, knowledge, and life experience etc. All this compiles into our attitude (thoughts and feelings) and can influence our perspective (mindset). Ultimately, this all culminates (if the giant has one eye open), in our values which guide us through life.
The big message however, is that our experiences can shape our perspective and when that happens it is a huge opportunity for us to recalibrate and assess our current values. It can be as small as you liking mustard as a child and liking it less as an adult. Or, feeling guilty because you didn’t follow what mainstream dictated and then as you got older, you appreciated that you listened to your own voice, values and goals.
WE ALL HAVE CHOICES
Think about when you were a kid:
Perhaps it brings up pleasant memories especially if you were raised by a loving functional supportive family who modeled healthy lifestyle behaviors; or, maybe your childhood experience was more challenging, meaning that you lived in a toxic family (or lack of family), and your experience was possibly traumatic, neglectful or abusive. Either way, without dismissing either experience, my belief is that you own that experience and you move onward.
You have a choice to use the loving environment you came from as a foundation of appreciation for all that was given to you; or, if your early childhood was just a string of one challenge and one struggle after another, then you can use that negative experience as a launching pad towards healing, forgiving and thriving. It’s your decision based on how you perceive your experience and who you believe you are today as a result of that experience!
IT'S SIMPLE NOT EASY
You are in the driver seat 24/7. You can change the mental channel you’ve been listening to or stay tuned to the same one. Whatever you decide, it’s your decision and we all know that not making a decision… is a decision.
You might ask, how do I begin to make changes? It’s simple: one thought at a time.
One thought can be very potent. Being mindful of what your choices are and how you feel as you move through life such as: “I’m angry a lot.” Or, “I’ve struggled with depression for years.”
Recognizing, acknowledging and then doing something different to cope and change.
That is the essence of adjusting your perspective and aligning more with your own values!
Margot Brown is a straight forward couple’s therapist that wrote a self help book for YOU! Her latest book, “Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out” is waiting for you.
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