“What you see and what you hear depend a great deal on where you are standing.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew.
1. a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something, a point of view.
2. true understanding of the relative importance of things, a sense of proportion.
from the latin verb perspicere, from per- ‘through’ + specere ‘to look.
The eyes that you look with, are the eyes that you see with. You can’t change what you look at, but you can change the way you look at it. This was one of the major things that I realized this year.
Here’s what led to this revelation: I used to have (probably still have) a few thoughts/ beliefs that I hang on to for dear life. And if I have to be 100% honest with myself, it drains the life out of me. It’s just SO hard for me to change my perspective on some things in my life. I got to a point, a few months ago, where I just didn’t have energy for this fight against myself anymore. I took a stand. I want to be free. I want to be happy. I don’t want to be stuck forever, and the only way to move forward is to start. As they say – admitting the problem is the first step to recovery.
I realized that if I say that “my joy is in the Lord”, then my joy should not change. God is constant, thus if my joy is in Him it should also be constant. This revelation led me to re-evaluate a lot of the things that frustrate me. I started by identifying one thing at a time that frustrates me and wrote down what I saw.
Then I came the second part of the revelation – I realized that I think I’m right about how I see things. We all have this one problem – we think we’re right. That’s our default, we subconsciously assume that the first thing that our mind grabs a hold of is the truth (and resisting this comment is just proof). Pride makes us not want to change our perspectives, even if it is self-destructing.
I was fighting against myself, because changing my perspective would require admitting that I was wrong. And from my perspective, being wrong was failure. But it was not being wrong that was failure. The failure was already in holding on so tightly to lies. This failure is the type of failure that requires us to change the way we think and speak and act. Change – a process that requires you to become different – the process that leaves you naked for a moment while everyone is watching. It strips us from the permission that we give self-pity; from feeling so sorry for ourselves about how hard life is (and really, it’s just all in our heads).
Finally, I had to admit to myself that I don’t always want to feel this way, and that I would do anything to strip off the self-destructive patterns that I get myself into. It’s not an overnight process, it’s one step at a time, but I’d rather start now than look back one day when I’m 50 and still struggle with the same self-destructive patterns.
I want to live freely, joyfully, thankfully in the eternal perspective that I can have because of Jesus Christ. My God is a God of restoration and reconciliation. I am made in His image and I want to live like that. Imitator of Christ.
Oh, and a last thing that I learned in my newly found interest in neuroscience:
Just because a bird flies over your head does not mean that it needs to make nest there.