by Rev. Amari Magdalena
There was a wonderful share the other day on Facebook about perspective. It got me thinking about just how relevant perspective is to our state of mind and contentment in life. For many of us, particularly those living alone, it is easy to lose perspective when we encounter the bumps and detours that life presents; no one to bounce things off of. For others even living with others, perspective can be skewed. All of us are, at times, fairly insular in our world view; we are the center of our universe.
When our small universe presents challenges of body, mind or spirit, we often fall into feeling sorry for ourselves with the accompanying pity party. At times, we choose to wallow in the suffering that we are experiencing. Some choose to isolate themselves at times like this; others broadcast it through their downtrodden energy.
It strikes me that what is needed are new filters through which to view challenges, bumps and detours. We might liken this to using a camera. Some people are more adept with the instrument; others not.
What is clear to me is that we each have an internal camera, along with our external one (our eyes). To a certain degree, we simply take a picture of what we see with your eyes. Yet through processing or developing the picture our internal camera tweaks the picture: in modern terms, we might say we Photoshop it. That internal processing is very unique and determined to a great extent by our life experiences and cultural inculcation.
Additionally, we seem to have a propensity to repeat the very same processing method we’ve previously used for similar pictures. We are on a form of auto-pilot with those. This can be time-saving yet may also represent a sort of blindness. Perhaps we do this repeat procedure to save time; perhaps it is simply habit.
If we continue to process pictures on auto-play or pilot we are not considering the present moment, circumstances, and presentation before us. This creates a lot of views that may be outdated or distorted. The distortion effect may lead to misunderstanding, prejudice, assumption, and limited thinking.
We could apply this to the events in our own lives or to our perception of events unfolding before us in the lives of others or the world. Truth may go begging when our camera lens is clouded or fractured. Recognizing any distortion by running our perceptions through a new truth filter may be of great value. Asking or questioning ourselves, when we find ourselves making judgments about a person or circumstances, may help us discover new truths.
In my own life when I question negative thinking, I often ask, “Is this true today?
Are the feelings or thoughts or perceptions I am experiencing based in what is presently before me or some half truth from another time and place? This helps me greatly in clearing my filter and perhaps coming up with new ways to view what my camera is focusing on.
The quote below sums up my thinking on this subject. One can just as easily apply it to “when watching yourself and your reactions….” I believe that we can choose to change our perceptions through highly focused awareness and commitment to re-viewing all that is within our scope; especially when it is causing us any angst or unhappiness.
The choice to see heaven or hell each day is ours alone. No external force can manipulate our inner camera, truly. We alone can “Windex” our perceptions and click on a focus that creates greater happiness and contentment.
“…and so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the Window through which we look.”