If you know anything about art you know that perspective is what makes a piece seem to have form, distance, and look real even though it’s all on a flat surface.
I have found myself in the middle of several separate conversations lately about perspective and its role in our overall happiness and contentedness. Some of it started in the conflict resolution training we did, because how you perceive things often determines how we show up in conflict.
But, the other side of it is that perspective influences how we show up in our own lives.
In this same way our brains perceive art our brains can tell us stories that offer perceived dimensions. That’s good! That’s what it’s supposed to do. Our brains are geared to drive us towards fight or flight and it does this through narrative.
Our brains are so good at storytelling that they can change the truth of the whole situation and make us believe that truth is “real”.
We’ve talked about truth versus facts in the past and this ties in with that. People often have different truths and that’s where conflict comes in. Misunderstandings happen and our brains lead us down a path of discontentedness.
I don’t say any of this to imply that feelings are wrong. But I do think we have to be wary of where they lead us. I like to think of them as a prompt. Our God-given intuition.
The ever wise Erica Blair posted something very valuable on Facebook the other day and I wanted to bring it into this discussion. It was a meme that said “why is this happening to me?” That was lined through and replaced with “what is this teaching me?”
It reminded me of something Adam often says to our kids- Is life happening TO ME, BY ME, or THROUGH ME? Meaning, what part do you play in the narrative? Victim, God or martyr, or participant/contributor/collaborative creator?
We’ve all been everyone of these, but the healthiest place to be is THROUGH ME, because it reminds us of our connectedness to the bigger story, and that we’re not the only characters. We’re just small parts in a very big production. If we want to matter in the story we’d probably benefit from elevating others around us too.
Erica mentioned in her post that all of this compares to facets of a diamond and I really like that analogy when talking about perspective. Not all facets shine brightly at the same time, but those that do have borrowed light from the others around it. As the diamond turns so does the light refracted within.
That’s how life is supposed to be. Everybody sharing the light and making something beautiful together.
This is important because when hard times hit we can prompt ourselves to ask the question, “what story am I telling myself here and what part am I playing?”
Whatever part your playing can really change the perspective of the story. Giving yourself permission to change roles lifts the eyes from ourselves and outwards to what’s beyond us.
Instead of getting tangled up in the story we can use that fuel to propel us forward.
So, with this insight imagine how many conflicts never even make it to conflicts. Most things get settled “in house”. There’s also something very empowering about just not letting a negative situation steal your good vibe. By changing the perspective you control the narrative. You get to write your own story.