A matter of perspective

perspective“For everything you have missed, you have gained something. For everything you gain, you have lost something else. It is about your outlook towards life. You either regret or rejoice.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life’s simply a matter of perspective. Everyone’s fighting a hard battle, every single person we meet has lost someone they’ll never get back. Each and every one of us wishes for something that, most probably, we’ll never have.

But what we think about all this is crucial.

I’m going to be honest. When I think about the whole half-full/half-empty glass thing, I’m usually the one who thinks of himself as being without a glass.

And it’s not about envy or greed or whatever, because I don’t like to compare myself to others. It’s just that I have this grand vision of who I should be as a person, and most times I fell short of that. I always see myself as I really am when I look in the mirror, and yet I can clearly see who I want to be.

And the two are not alike.

Funny thing, but those two are never alike. What we choose to do about it, though, is what really matters.

Do we panic? Do we give up? Do we make ourselves miserable?

It’s not about the destination, but about the journey. It’s not about reaching a place, but about realizing that the long road toward that place is, in fact, the place itself.

There’s no pursuit of happiness. There’s no reaching for something.

It’s just us and the long and winding road.

It’s just us and life.

And the way we choose to see things.

But maybe it’s worth remembering once in a while that we never see things as they are. Our vision is distorted by who we are. We perceive everything around us through a lens composed of qualities and flaws. We compare and we remember and we analyze.

The things that no longer are will always be compared to what is. Or what could be. Or what will be.

We try to make sense of things. To find meaning.

But let me ask you a question: do you think that “meaning” is something to be found? Or given? Created from all our previous experiences?

Do you think that we find who we are after years and years of wandering or do we create that self?

What I’m really trying to say is that how we look at things is how we look at ourselves. What we see around us is what we see inside us. If there’s no beauty and magic in the world, you’ll never find beauty and magic in yourself. Or happiness.

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14 thoughts on “A matter of perspective

  1. Nice post! Meditation teaches me that I may not have accomplished everything I wanted to that particular day, I could eat better, etc. but like when you quoted Emerson, “It’s about the journey not the destination.” We get closer to our goals each day. And being alive is a miracle in itself.

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  2. Well-stated. I believe happiness is something we chose to pack in our journey bag… we open our hearts to allow the divine light within to illuminate our world. When you look in the mirror, you can choose to smile… and allow yourself to see your soul twinkling back at you through your eyes… or not. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge and experience our sadness in our lives… I have learned to make a point of not dwelling in darkness for too long. My late son would say to me, “Okay, time to snap out of it. You need to move forward on your journey. You have work to do and friends to see.” As for ‘meaning,’ I create my own meaning. Personal interpretation. Created from my experiences and my aspirations. Thank you for this post.

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  3. Nice article. I enjoyed reading this. I always tell my son that we are all running our own race and as long as our own voice outshines all other’s then the critics don’t matter. But they are just words. Magic doesn’t just happen, it is created within us. Our journey ends when we reach our destination. Choosing different paths when things don’t go so well is the best decision we can make for ourselves. My motto for life is ‘Go Beyond Where You Have Already Been ‘.

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  4. This post was so full of so many profound thoughts. I really enjoyed reading it!

    When you talk about the journey being the place, this brings to mind mindfulness, or being present in the moment. We often spend too much time dwelling on the past, recalling nostalgic moments and trying to recapture them (which are difficult if not impossible), or we recall all the bad things that have happened and have many regrets, anger, resentment, etc. Or we worry about the future by thinking about all the things we want to achieve, how to get to where we are going, wanting to acquire things we want, etc.

    But we spend very little time thinking about the present moment: we mindlessly eat a meal while watching TV, or thinking about the past or future, but do we ever take the time to contemplate the meal? We find we have devoured the meal before very long and we only have a vague sense of whether or not it was good. But we never savor each bite that goes into our mouths, truly thinking about the flavors, textures, smells and visual experience, or maybe even the crunchy sound something might make. And it is the same in all that we experience in the moment – even in a conversation with a friend we are distracted by our phones, thoughts about other things, what is going on around us, what we want to say in response, instead of truly focusing on our friends’ thoughts, feelings, facial expressions and other body language. We miss so much about what is going on in the moment.

    How many times have we driven in the car somewhere and we arrived at a certain point in the trip and wondered what happened between the last time we checked in and the present moment? How many times have we missed our turn because we were so engrossed in other thoughts? We were on automatic pilot and never took in the scenery around us. Were there trees or flower beds along the way? Were there any buildings that had interesting architecture? Were there animals, kids, or other things worth noticing? We missed the journey! And in this we lost meaning in our lives.

    Meaning is not just given, or found, but an accumulation of experiences. The meaning in our lives are defined by those experiences and how we interpreted and reacted to them. Discovery about who we are is found in those moments. But it is not a stagnant process of experiencing things and moving on to the next experience, but also what we learn from those moments, how we adjust our behavior as we move forward and learning new ways of interpreting a single event in our lives. Meaning in our lives is an evolving process.

    As I write this I realize I probably should have just blogged on this! LOL!!!

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