CHRISTINE’S THOUGHTS ON PERSPECTIVE: Just as a prism reflects light into a spectrum of colors (the rainbow) and we know that there is no value in asking ‘which is the correct or right color?’ They all exist, some of us have favorite colors and some of us are going to take a few of the colors that appear and create new blended colors. The bottom-line is that the colors we see, create, or prefer…are merely reflections of the SAME LIGHT.
Just as we are reflections of the same light…we have something to contribute and some people are going to prefer some of those contributions more than others.
HOWEVER, the question that stands foremost in my mind is, “what about my preferences are in direct competition or conflict to your preferences?”. Can my preferences exist at the same time as yours? Can we share a common space while holding onto our preferences? I definitely prefer my preferences…as you do yours!
I do my best from “the spiritual perspective” to remember there is only one light and everything is a reflection of that one light. In this physically manifest world however, there are so many societal rules, cultural mores and traditions that have the potential to “divide us”…BUT THIS DIVISION IS NOT LOVE, these are perspectives and I challenge myself to hold a space for those that I do not prefer. For those, in this moment from this perspective, that I CANNOT see or imagine the benefit of their existing at all.
As I pause to send my mind back to the fundamentals (I remind myself 1) everything we see is a reflection of something within ourselves, 2) we can only control and influence our own reaction and 3) making conscious versus unconscious choice can be a powerful determinant of whether our preferences are honored. Finally, I ask and wonder, ‘In what space and under what conditions, can all of these exist in harmony?”.
I begin by looking inside myself to identify where what I am seeing reflected on the outside exists within me, I can then accept, love and heal within myself (depending on what this is, it may take a while and I may need external assistance) but by doing so I will have a more complete understanding and therefore compassion for what is happening on the outside. This is where the magic happens…compassion and LOVE HEAL. SO basically, to keep it simple…if you see it ‘out there’, it’s in you, so sit down, get quiet, and understand yourself better. This is the greatest action you can take. THEN go into the world and reverently LOVE EVERYONE. Understand your human preferences, honor them, be comfortable and steady and take responsibility for your actions and words…
My perennial garden is a recent example. Missouri Pink Primrose, paper-thin petals opening and facing the sun…you are beautiful and bring a radiant smile to my face. Within a month left unattended you have multiplied by 20 fold…you cover a nice patch of the garden…you filled in that blank spot beautifully. Within 3 months I realize you are a little too enthusiastic and I begin plucking you from the roots to keep you from crowding out the other Monarda, Coreopsis and the Echinacea….Things seem under control until next spring when I realize I didn’t pull the whole root and there are runners throughout the whole garden. So I let you bloom and enjoy your pink petals, but then I give you away by the shovel-full…and yet you return again and again (even before the summer’s end). For a while I get aggressive pull and remove you completely, yet everytime I see your leaf or your pretty pink petals, I feel appreciation for your beauty. Whenever, I share you I warn others plant this in full sun, where you do not want ANYTHING else to grow…this one is invasive and WILL take over. I have come to accept that for me, I don’t have the space for you to spread in my yard, I don’t have the desire to give the time needed to keep you in the ground and yet contained from taking over…so at my house you must live in a container, a decorative pot. You look great, I enjoy your pink blossoms and there is space for the rest of everything else!
What’s your Pink Primrose?
GARY’S THOUGHTS ON PERSPECTIVE: There is perspective shift that occurs for all of us when our life is shaken. If the person I believe that I am is at risk, if my dreams and purpose in life are challenged, if the things that are really important to me go away, or when my goal falls apart and the things I give energy to daily are destroyed – what is the perspective then? Suffering, mistakes, pain, and my personal failures in life cause me to see everything different. Winning in life getting all that I hope for also shifts my perspective. These are the teachers in my life to help me seek a new truth.
Think about it – how many of us have visited the homes we grew up in and thought how small that place seems now? When I drive by the house I grew up in it is amazing how huge that lawn on the corner where my siblings and all the neighborhood kids played football. End-zone to end-zone a whopping 30 yards! It is all about the perspective of that 4-foot-tall little boy’s view that became my reality and stuck with me for years.
Life is like this for me. The problems and concerns that consumed me with the whole big world ahead of me as a 20 year old college student – the mindset and goals I established for myself at 25 years old young man “before children” – all that I wanted and dreamed for as a 35 year old man with 5 children with fears and concerns of college educations and how many square feet of living space were needed to live comfortably. The kind of cars I drove, the people I maintained relationships with, the desires for my marriage and relationship with my bride, and the work I wanted to devote myself to. Am I not the same guy I have always been? Isn’t Christine the same person she has always been?
I THINK NOT! Everything was driven by my perspective in the moment!
We all must continually evaluate and adjust our perspectives. I believe a daily personal practice in our lives to seek the next best move for us is critical. We have to have values that matter to us and help us along the way – and even these shift with time. Sometimes in a moment! Love, acceptance, listening to spirit, and controlling behaviors and habits that enslave and blind me are my roadmap.
I have learned that it takes discipline and diligence to fill my mind with healthy content, gain some humility, and deflate my oversized ego. Non-duality in my thinking to accept others and see that each person has a different path, and all people have the same access to Source and their inner guidance. Judgement creates pain and neurotic relationships. When I allow myself to judge others – or worse yet get locked up in self-judgement – there is no helpful result.
Today I trust only a perspective that comes from the higher power of my own understanding. The Source that created all that exist which also lives within and sustains me. If my perspective in the moment is full of love for self and all others – it has the seed to grow into something lovely. I have learned that if I am the only one that gets a reward from an action, or if I have to justify a way that others my benefit from an action, it serves as a warning for me. How can I do this gracefully? What can I do to see more clearly? Is there a way to gain a healthier perspective?
For me today this takes a willingness and effort to slow down and quiet my mind. A practice of stilling the mental chatter, habitual chaos, and turbulent waters of my thoughts. Only in these moments can I become the observer for myself to choose more skillfully, and see clearly how to be. This is my prayer for you, me, and all humanity. To sit with awareness that everything is a matter of perspective. If we all were to do this consistently what could be the result of this? I cannot even figure this out for myself – though I would love to project the outcome. Join me on a journey filled with a mindful practice of listening to your own inner guidance while remembering you are worth it.