It’s funny how I can read about perspective, talk about perspective, and think about perspective, but so often not put things in perspective, or at least not be able to see the different perspectives often in a moment... Bright side, is it usually doesn’t take too long. I read stuff all day and repost quotes all the time about how we view a situation or how we react to the situation is what defines us and our ability to be happy even through tough times..We all talk about it, but do we apply it? Do we stop, sit in silence, and really think about how we could better view a situation, contemplate if there is a different perspective we could see something as, a different lens to view it through, perhaps a new outlook? It’s funny how much our way of viewing something can completely change and alter our state of mind... Or at least I know that I am learning that in my experiences.
I gotta be flat honest... as of late, I have been having some personal issues, and I have been finding myself angry, mad, bitter, jealous, frustrated, irritated, feeling taken for, resentful, sad, and confused, amongst many other negative, or not so great emotions. I have been choosing to only look at a particular situation through one lens, with one way of thinking, and the result of this has been me harboring all of these negative emotions. And, who wants that? Negative emotions tend to manifest in physical form, they harm you in more ways then one, and are detrimental to your happiness, relationships, health and life. Consciously I know this, and consciously I knew that the reasons for some of these emotions where somewhat unrealistic, and not in tune with the character I want to possess, or more importantly with the woman I want to be, the woman I have worked very hard at being.
It is funny though how sometimes we can consciously be aware of something such as this, yet feel that we still have no control over feeling it... Not necessarily that we have no control, just we know that this way of thinking has such a tighter grip on us. Or now that I think of it, maybe we just haven't seen the situation in the light. Maybe we haven’t seen it from the other perspective to hold in our hearts a new way of thinking. I don’t know if this makes any sense... but my point is if I am thinking A, and consciously I know it isn’t how I really want to be thinking or reacting, but I haven’t fully discovered B as an option, then I don’t know how to change my thoughts and get out of A thinking. Once I am able to see through a new lens, and see the B perspective, it is as if a light has shined up me... helping me realize that I do indeed have a CHOICE...and that choice, in every choice, in every situation, greatly affects my health, happiness, and healing.
So after spending the last several weeks stuck, if you will, in one way of thought, despite knowing it wasn’t appropriate, not knowing how to see beyond it or otherwise, it is as if tonight, when I finally allowed myself to sit in silence I had somewhat of an epiphany... I was suddenly able to tie several things together and see this whole situation from an entirely new perspective... and a much healthier, more positive, peaceful, enlightening perspective at that. It was honestly the most calming experience where I found myself suddenly filled with joy, my heart filled with love, my soul filled with purpose. Perspective... it’s funny how things work. Now I am not saying this was some magical moment that healed me... whereby everything is just going to be easy now, where I am going to have my emotions in synch with what I learned from this moment at all times, but it is a starting point - a healthy starting point. It is a ‘way of thinking’ for me to consciously get back to anytime my mind goes astray. It is a goal. It is a destination. It is a journey. It is an opportunity to stay connected to God, remembering my purpose in life, to count my blessings, and maintain peace and gratitude in my heart.
Perspective - its a funny thing - big word - powerful impact... ONE situation - two totally different perspectives, and two polar opposite emotional reactions - as extreme as light & dark. The best part is... once we realize it - the choice is always our very own! If that isn't empowering, I don't know what is! <3
You know the saying " fake it til ya make it"? I wonder, can this concept be applied to anything in life, and does it work? I've never really been good at it, myself. But I guess the only way to get good is to try. Fake it til ya make it....What does it even really mean? If you feel like crap every day but you fake it like you are amazing - do you eventually just become amazing? If life is heavy and you are sad but you put a fake smile on your face will the sadness eventually fade? If you ignore your problems will they eventually subside ? If you don't know everything you think you should for your job but you walk in confidently pretending you do - are you eventually just awesome? If you wake up every day and pretend to be in gratitude for the hand you were dealt will you eventually be dealt a hand you actually are gracious for? If you miss someone but pretend you don't will you eventually stop? If you don't fake it til ya make it, what's the alternative ? I suppose it doesn't hurt to try ... But if you are masking something then you aren't facing it - can u move beyond it w/o facing it? Can you overcome sadness or hurt or pain by pretending it isn't there? Or is this "fake it til you make it" concept not apply behind closed doors? Is this when you allow yourself to truly feel and acknowledge these feelings ? Is it when you are all alone or w a close trusted & valued friend? Or is it only you and God who gets to know the truth ?
Ever heard that poem about a reason, season, or lifetime? … It's about why and how long someone may stay in your life, or perhaps, you in theirs. The thing is we can meet someone and never really know God's plan for that person in our life or us in theirs. We may think everything seems so right and we can feel like we want them for a lifetime, but for reasons sometimes we can't explain they become a reason or season friend. Sometimes the reason doesn't seem quite fair - but it's not up to us what is always fair and sometimes it's not about us either. The thing is ... Sometimes we might think they are only going to be a season and it might last a lifetime. There is no way of really knowing and every time you open your heart you take a risk .... A risk that can be seriously scary, a risk that could end in heartache, but a risk that's so worth it in the end.
I used to be so closed off... I thought I would never open my heart up again .... I felt it wasn't worth it to risk loving again for the fear of loosing again .... For many years the risk always outweighed the potential reward, or so I thought. The truth is though, the reward is soooo worth the risk, even if you open your heart and loose. Cuz even with every loss is gain - it's all perspective. If you open your heart and you love - you feel ... And to feel is to be truly alive. You may end up loving someone that becomes just a reason or a season friend, and you may be saddened, you may feel heartache, but instead of focusing on the loss or pain, you can focus on the fact that you still gained by allowing yourself to feel fully alive, if even not for the length of years you wanted.
What changed for me was when I started trying to imagine being old looking back on life. I used to feel that it was more worth never loving again to avoid hurting again... But the reality is - I'd rather love 10x over again and hurt 10x over again then not love at all. If I fast forward my life 40 years ... All I can think is would rather look back and think to myself "ya…Well phew, I saved myself heartache and loss, but never experienced real love" or would I rather think back on all the wonderful opportunities and time I spent loving, if even followed by a loss. I chose the latter.
Loving hurts sometimes, this is true. The thought of opening your heart and becoming completely vulnerable in front of another soul is scary shit, but the feeling of choosing to love that person through thick and thin, good and bad makes it worth it. The ability to see through the flaws and find the perfection, or knowing that you inspire and encourage that person to grow and be the best person he/she can be makes it worth it. The opportunity to give a piece of yourself to another person and share your soul with someone and be so intimately connected makes it worth it.
The thing is - there is inherit risk in EVERY decision we make in every aspect of life. Simplistically speaking, there is always a 50/50 chance in everything we do… so do we spend our whole life making every decision on the 50% chance that things could fail, that something could go wrong, that it might not work out, that love might not last, that a heart might get broken, that someone might get hurt… or do we let go of that control and focus on the potential of what could go right, the potential reward, the bigger picture, the better outcome, trusting God, because otherwise we end up loosing big.
Sometimes in life; however, the choice isn't ours. This is when all we can do is be grateful for the experience we had, the opportunity we were given, the strength we can gain, and we confide in God, trusting his plan, knowing that even if things don't look the way we think they are supposed to -we trust and know that there is always a reason. We remind ourselves that every door that closes is followed by another that opens. And we remember, as Dr. Steve Maraboli said, "As I look back on my life, I realized that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better." I love that. <3
I was listening to this video the other day and someone described the definition of integrity. He said it means to “do the RIGHT thing.... REGARDLESS...” I haven’t stopped thinking about it since...really letting it soak into my head... thinking about what the really means, the depth & breadth, while reflecting on my life. Truth is, if I am thinking about how I would want to be remembered, I couldn’t think of a better way. To have people looking back on your life and be able to truthfully say, “she always did the right thing... (regardless)” is powerful. So then I had to reflect on my life and where I am strong, where I fall short, and what this really even looks like. It makes me think a lot about what I have learned about God’s word through the bible and ways we are supposed to live our lives. It is pretty much the same thing. In the bible we are taught to love, even those most difficult to love. We are taught to serve others, with no expectation of anything in return, even those seemingly undeserving of being served. We are taught to give generously, even when we fear we don’t have enough to give, expressing that in times we feel like clenching is when we probably need to give the most. We are taught that there is a bigger plan, and sometimes that plan isn’t in synch with our personal plan, but learning to accept this, and develop patience.
To do the right thing... regardless... of how much money you will or will not make, of who you may or may not impress, of the personal gains you may or may not receive, of how you feel in the moment, of who is looking, of how hard it might seem, of how silly you may feel, of whether or not its convenient for you, of how easy or difficult it may be, of who you may or may not piss off.... .and the list goes on and on and on..... How different would the world look if more of us lived a life of true integrity... doing the right thing, regardless? It would be an amazing place. I can’t change the whole world, but I can start with me.
What does integrity mean to you? Do you live a life of integrity?