It’s Not Them, It’s You

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Sometimes our eyes deceive us. Isn’t it amazing how 2 people can see exactly the same thing, yet not agree on the way it looks? I realize more and more that the filter we look through determines what and how we see. Do you know anyone who looks through a filter of anger and resentment? How about someone who looks through a filter of denial? Blame? Resentment? Love? Gratitude? Thankfulness? Forgiveness? Grace? Jealousy? We can look at the same person through each one of these filters and the picture that is reflected back can be tainted in a good or horrible way depending on the condition of our heart.

I love this verse. Luke 6:45-47

People are known in this same way. Out of the virtue stored in their hearts, good and upright people will produce good fruit. But out of the evil hidden in their hearts, evil ones will produce what is evil. For the overflow of what has been stored in your heart will be seen by your fruit and will be heard in your words.

So today, ask yourself, how am I seeing people? What is the condition of my heart and how is that reflected by the fruit of my words? Don’t look at others and judge who they are, look into yourself and ask, how do the words I speak make others feel? Are you speaking words of love or words of anger and bitterness? Are you speaking encouragement or criticism? Love or hate? Stop looking at the person across from you and look into your own heart. Maybe you cannot see anything good about someone because your heart is ugly towards them.

When I can’t see something good in someone I pray that God helps me to see that person through His eyes. Lord, help me love them the way You do.

We have to stop thinking it’s everyone else even if people agree that it is. We can team up with others in a way that we see through the same filter. More than likely there’s nothing wrong with who you are looking at but everything’s wrong because of the filter you are choosing to see them through. Don’t like what you see? Change your filter and fix the condition of your heart then watch how beautiful everyone starts to look.

Answer This Honestly

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Have you ever considered that the people you are judging are not the problem but maybe it’s your perception of them that is the real problem? Sometimes we create a narrative in our head about someone or a group of people that we convince ourselves is the word of God. Do you think if you had a conversation with those people that they would agree with your analysis of who they are and what they actually believe compared to what you believe to be true about them? There is way too much assuming going on, generalizations that are destroying relationships and further dividing people into boxes they don’t come close to fitting into. I am actually surprised by the people actively engaging in this every single day. Are we so pompous to believe that we know what is in someone else’s heart and that we have the right to look down on them because our ego allows us to believe they are below us by our own selfish standards? It’s easy to twist some aspects of a situation to validate our own viewpoint. So I ask you to answer one, simple question:

Have you ever been wrong about someone?

Maybe the healing can start there. Maybe real growth begins with acknowledging the fact that maybe, just maybe it’s the way we see something that is what is really wrong. Are you brave and real enough to be honest? Looking forward to the comments.

What Will You Choose?

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 This is a reminder to myself and anyone else who needs it. There are always two ways to look at something. You may not always be able to change what is happening in your life but you do have the power to change how you look at it. Stand on your head if you must but find a way to help yourself through whatever life throws your way.

The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination. Marion Zimmer Bradley

Would You Jump?

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When I was a little girl, my mom used to take me to a place called Jenny Jump Mountain. That is where I first learned about the legend and how the mountain got its name. There was a time long ago when nine year old Jenny was out picking berries. She looked up to find Indians coming toward her and she yelled to her father for help. She was trapped and scared at the top of the mountain. Her father was down below and he yelled to her, jump Jenny jump, and she did. One ending suggests Jenny jumped to her death and the other tells the happy news of her landing safely in the arms of her father. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

For some reason, the story has always stuck in my mind. I was inspired to write this after reading a post on Dream Big, Dream Often. His post was about turning molehills into mountains. I, on the other hand, realize the opposite can also be true. I actually try and turn my mountains into a molehill because I get to that point I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stand the feeling of being trapped on the mountainside with no way down. I am afraid of heights. I panic and the anxiety becomes a constant gnawing at my internal organs. Sometimes I wish I could be like Jenny and just jump but I don’t think I have the courage. Then I think to myself, if I don’t jump, how will I ever learn to fly?

So, what do you think? What’s worse? Turning mountains into molehills or molehills into mountains? Which are you guilty of?

Are You Open To A New Perspective?

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Sometimes letting go is simply changing the labels you place on an event. Looking at the same event with fresh eyes~Steve Maraboli

This is what anewperspectiveperhaps is all about. It’s finding a new way to look at older ideas, thoughts, beliefs, situations, people, relationships, the past and anything else that has been holding you back. This is the secret to finding peace. This is the key that unlocks the door to love. The mind is a powerful thing if you allow it the ability to change. You cannot change your circumstances but you can change the way you look at them. This allows you the freedom to let go, accept what is, forgive, understand and maybe, if you’re lucky, find a way to move on. 

Distorted Vision

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Have you ever considered what a gift it is to be blessed with the ability to see? We are given so many gifts, but it is up to us to determine how we use them. I can give two people a shovel and one person may use it to dig the foundation for a beautiful home while another may use it as a weapon to hit someone over the head.

 Our vision is a lot like that too. We choose how we interpret the things we see. We can look for something good in someone, in a situation or we can use our vision to see everything that is bad. What’s not fair is that people choose to see the good in this and bad in that. Who wins? What is the benefit?  We are not taught or told how to use our gifts. That is when our free will is put to its toughest test. 

Do you know two people can look at the very same thing and still see it a different way? Who do you trust? Are you right and the other person a liar? Look at the whole blue dress/ gold dress drama that unfolded before our eyes. That should have been a clear sign, a distinct message that our vision is faulty.  See it doesn’t come down to being right, it comes down to the fact that what we think we see may be different from what someone else THINKS he sees,  but NO-ONE is wrong. We have to respect that our view, our vision, our interpretation is just as valid as the guy standing next to us. How could we ever all agree when the nation was divided, news anchors were divided, families divided? It was the most valuable lesson we may have ever learned IF We WERE PAYING ATTENTION! If we know we can’t trust what it is we think we see then why do we argue about such silly things? I saw it this way, I saw it that way (sighs). We are ALL blind!

 Remember, this is before diagnosed vision problems come into the picture. 

We don’t all see 20/20. Sometimes we have a astigmatism. According to Web MD, astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody. Everybody! I had no idea.. Did you know that?When light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Isn’t it crazy to know we may never see the whole picture, just one side or the other? Maybe that explains it all. We think something is the way it is because that is what we see but we need to remind ourselves that what we see is just not real, not really anyway. Sure we can make out the general gist of something but the edges just aren’t smooth. We can see it superficially but the details are lost somewhere in our clouded vision. SO, we compensate by creating the image we think we see in our own mind but if we created it, is it really reliable? 

 Quite a few years ago, everytime I was under an immense amount of stress, I would lose the peripheral vision in my right eye. I could only see what was straight in front of me and to the left and the world to the right just disappeared. Does that mean it wasn’t there anymore? Was it less real or nonexistent just because I couldn’t see it? Things are not always as they appear. What’s even worse is people’s faces started to look distorted too. The first time it happened I was so terrified that I wished I couldn’t see a thing at all. People started to look like monsters to me. One eye would be down where their chin should be and one side of their face was longer than the other. Our mind plays tricks on us like that too. It makes it appear that people are monsters and that monsters are people. Everything is jumbled up. Who then, what then, can we really trust?

Let this be a reminder that just because we swear something is true, it is only our truth and not necessarily the whole truth. We are artists, creators. We paint our own pictures. We write our own stories. We can trick ourselves into believing that we don’t have that power because we blame someone else for grabbing our pen. Its easier to say, not my book, not my story so you never have to take responsibility for what is written on the page. I pray that we all have clearer vision. I pray that we choose to use our eyes to see all that is good. We can only see what we allow ourselves to see, remember that. If the eyes are closed, the mind is closed. I pray we see a better world, a better way. I pray our eyes look for peace, love, resolution.  I pray we see the truth lying under the distortion that we alone create. Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that your distorted vision could ever be less or more distorted than mine. Close your eyes. Look with your heart.

You Want A Happy Ending?

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As I was sitting in Starbucks yesterday, I heard that familiar ding from the inside of my purse. It was a text message from my husband asking if we should go out to eat to celebrate the first day of school. The image appeared almost instantaneously. There I was almost three years from the day, sitting on my closet floor fighting back tears. I can see myself slumped against the door, hating every inch of myself. It had been a great summer filled with celebration. A trip to Greece, Malibu buckets and chips at the pool, brats, ice cream, burgers, dessert. The list went on an on but it was quite a celebration. I’m not sure when the word celebration became synonymous with food, but it sure did.

I remember trying to button my pants that day. I remember feeling the sheer panic and thinking, could I have really packed on THAT much weight? I hit rock bottom right around the same time my own bottom hit that floor. I never wanted to come out of that closet again.

I’ve had a body image distortion disorder for as long as I can remember. I was always ashamed of my body. I hated everything about it and to top it all off, I was a gymnast. Imagine having to parade in front of the entire high school in a skimpy, little, revealing leotard. It was excruciating. My body was changing everyday and everyone I knew had a front row ticket to see.

What I learned in that closet that day was that I was living to eat. I wasn’t eating to live. I was literally feeding every insecurity I had to try and comfort myself from the reality of the things I never faced. We don’t even realize how much our eating relates to our mental state. Stuff it down, memories…food. Then do it some more. Then tell ourself that food makes us happy when that same evening it makes is completely loathe ourselves. The mind can be so damaging if we fall for its manipulative tricks. It can make the simplest flaw or memory or experience into the Grand Canyon when it’s simply a tiny hole.

It was time to remove the damage I had done one thought at a time, one pound at a time. I found yoga then and healing and a smaller size of pants. It was all connected and I never realized it before. When one thing was out of balance, it knocked everything else out of balance too.

I looked in the mirror today and I smiled. I have a confidence that took me 44 years to develop. Even with some parts sagging, others wrinkled, I feel beautiful for the first time. My skin is a happy home for what is on the inside. I am so grateful for that day in the closet that gave me the strength, commitment. courage and real desire to finally make that change. There was no diet on earth that could fix me. I had to start with my thoughts and find the compassion and care that would help me love myself just as I am. I had to own every thought, action, decision, choice and I had to forgive myself. I had to let go of this perfect image of who I thought I should be and allow myself to be completely. I had to listen to my own voice and worry about making choices that would lead to my own happiness and stop worrying about what anyone else wanted for me. I had to live. I had to choose and I had to start being accountable for the direction my life would take me in. I had to look myself in the mirror and say, you are enough. The truth is, I am enough. I have always been enough.

I hope that sharing my own story will make a bell go off for someone else. Just like a heard the sound in my purse at Starbucks yesterday, I hope this helps you hear the sound in your own head begging for the change only you can make. There is hope. Change is possible. There are happy endings. Guess who decides?

Do You Buy Into The Happiness Myth?

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There is a happiness myth that many of us buy into. 

Happiness is being someplace else. 

Happiness is being someone else.

 Just today I was thinking, if only we had a few more weeks of summer vacation. If only I could lose these 5 pounds. It only it was a couple of degrees cooler. 

Our inner voice loves to complain and remind us that the conditions around us are imperfect. We are imperfect. Everyone around us is imperfect. It’s okay to accept we are perfectly flawed. Almost everything is and isn’t that okay? 

Isn’t this idea we have of perfection make believe in the first place? Perfect is what we tell ourselves perfect is so if we make the decision to believe our life is perfect just as it is, than maybe we can start to buy into that one too. We cannot let our level of happiness ride on our perception of perfection. Believe me, we will be let down every single time. 

It’s time to stop defining, comparing, measuring and just start living in the little moments between our misguided thoughts. If onlys will rip the happiness out of each and everyone of us every single time. It is only when we choose to be happy right now with the way things are right now that we ever learn to embrace true happiness. Happiness is not conditional. It is a choice we have to make time and time again if we really want to feel a smile from the inside out.