What if I told you there are countless perspectives for absolutely every situation and you have total control over which you choose. Would you feel empowered? Relieved? Overwhelmed?
I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective lately. Like most, this pandemic has thrown a big ol’ monkey wrench into what I thought I knew. It's wreaked havoc with my plans and assumptions about my work, my goals and my life in general.
My perspective regarding the changes this pandemic has unleashed on the world as we knew it has gone through stages.
Relaxation with lots more time because I’m sheltered in place.
Frustration over my glasses fogging when I wear a face covering.
Grief over the loss of control. What will the holidays look like? When can I travel again? What’s next?
Glee because the roads aren’t crowded and lines are shorter at the grocery store then
Sorrow again when the realization as to why both those statements are true sets in.
All this reflection reminds me how much we actually do control. We always have control of our perspective. True, we cannot control everything going on around us, but we can control our reaction.
Now before you wonder if I’m just looking at life through rose-colored glasses, I can assure you I am not. There is still grief, frustration and anger, but I’m choosing not to stay stuck in those negative perspectives. Instead, I am changing my perspective and choosing to find the gifts. I can’t help but reflect on the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
When my children were young, we took them to Italy to meet their extended family. On the beach my kids and I went to search for sea glass. It was great fun and we had a haul of treasure. We brought back our loot and showed it to the cousins who immediately asked us “Why are you picking up garbage?” They thought we were crazy Americans to be sure.
Garbage! What?!? These are treasures, how can anyone not see that?
The same was true when after grueling 110+ days in the SF Bay Area…what??? I went for a walk when it was a mere 90 degrees thinking it was refreshing. I can assure you I never previously thought 90 degree weather was refreshing.
There’s that perspective again.
Perspective is a funny thing. It can completely change your mood, your actions, your options. It can open up a world to you or keep you stuck between a rock and a hard place. Where one door closes, another opens – yep, another perspective.
A perspective is merely your belief or opinion and news flash, you have total control over your beliefs and opinions.
Yes, times are indeed tougher right now for most everyone. If you are struggling with depression or loss my heart truly goes out to you. But if you, like me, are just trying to get a handle on what’s next, perhaps a little perspective shift will do you good.
My kids and I carted around that sea glass the entire vacation. We put it in a jar at home and picked out some special pieces. I have a very talented friend who turned that sea glass into jewelry which we sent to those skeptical cousins back in Italy as reminders of us crazy American cousins. That was 15 years ago and those memories are still talked about.
Perspectives can be life changing if you let them. They can unleash boundless opportunities. They can make you happy and set you free. It takes curiosity and openness. It takes wonderment and asking ‘what if?’. It takes dreaming and re-imagining. It takes courage and fearlessness.
So when I’m feeling especially stuck or frustrated, I’m choosing to instead shift my perspective. In a sense, I feel like a child again because so much is unknown but you know what, that’s not always bad. I’m going to keep searching for treasures.
I am choosing hope and optimism. It’s not always easy but with continually practicing gratitude and intentionally exploring perspectives, each day is a treasure in itself.
How about you? Where are you letting your perspectives hold you back? Are you ready to take the next step to explore your endless options? Let's chat. I’d love to explore what’s next for you.