Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Matter of Perspective

Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward something, way of regarding something or point of view on something.
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the phrase "the grass is greener on the other side." Lots of times people go through life thinking they'll find the happiness they desire when "something" happens, like when they get a job, when they or their spouse finish school, when they make more money, when they get married/have children, when they move into a nicer home, etc. But being happy really isn't about some great thing coming in the future. Being happy is something that's possible right now, but it's up to you to make that decision. Here's a fitting quote:

"So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial.

The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.

We do matter. We determine our happiness. You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness." –- Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I love this next quote. I'm sure telling someone who's currently going through a terribly difficult hard time that "there's still so much to be thankful for" seems rather glib, but I know it's true. There really IS much to be thankful for, even if you have to get creative to find things to be hopeful about/thankful for!
One of the best examples of this comes from one of my all time favorite books, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. She was held in a concentration camp during WWII and she said that she was grateful for having fleas because she said that the Nazi soldiers left her [and the other women she was with] alone becomes they didn't want to catch their fleas. I think this story really exemplifies looking at your situation with perspective and finding something to be thankful for, even if it's something undesirable, like fleas.
It takes perspective to come to terms with the fact that we're going to have to go through some rainy periods in life. Sometime it might take a deluge of rain before the sun shines again, but it eventually will, and when it does you might look up and see a beautiful rainbow in the sky. I've always loved rainbows because they are the perfect symbol of God's love and having hope for brighter days ahead.
Some of our trials may not end in our earthly life (like being disabled, for example). That's a really discouraging thought, especially since life can seem like an incredibly long road when we're unhappy or suffering. Some things just aren't in our control to change, so just buckle up and try to enjoy the ride!
One last thought… it's important to remember that this life is not the end all and be all. I know some people don't believe in an afterlife, and think that when they take their last breath that's the end of them forever! (That's a really weird concept for me to wrap my head around since I've always known that when we die our spirits go to the next life.) I always try to be respectful of people's right to think for themselves and form their own opinions, but there are just some things that I'm absolutely certain of (the existence of God and an afterlife being two of them). To the people who don't believe this, I assure you that this is absolutely true. There most definitely is a God and death is merely the end to the earthly chapter of our lives [which is actually a very short chapter].

For me, keeping an eternal perspective makes it easier to stay positive and upbeat because although things might not be the way I want them now, I know in the end all will be well.


Kathe said...

Thanks for writing this. It was wonderful to read it and ponder it. You are amazing!!!

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