“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Is perspective everything? I’ve thought so for a long time and my beliefs are becoming more ingrained the older I get. When I go through life this way, everything makes more sense.
Let me explain why.
Keeping things in perspective to me, means that everything (good, bad, indifferent) is relative. This means that every thought, idea, belief or act of mine is a product of my own personal life view. So when I say that I believe in Jesus the Son of God, my statement is based on an American, Christian, white, middle class worldview. Life makes sense when I realize people’s actions are dependent on their perspective. From this view, I look from above the forest and bask in it’s beauty and complexity. The trouble is, I am constantly drawn back into that forest and become buried in foliage. I forget that no matter what path I take, I have the power to experience it any way I want and that events I see as stressful, may (in reality) be good for me:
I wonder how many things in life would change by putting this principle into practice?
In his book, Searching for Life’s Meaning, Viktor Frankl described how he turned imprisonment at a Nazi Death camp into a meaningful experience.
“The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action. … Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.”
But knowing this idea and putting it into practice are two different things. For example, how do I change my perspective on waiting for our Little Panda? It’s been almost ten months now and the wait seems never ending. If I focus on this fact then my wait becomes a watched pot, but if I recall that the average wait for a match is twelve months, then wham! my perspective changes and I’m back in the game of hope.
I believe a lot of our power to manifest a meaningful life comes from perspective. We humans are built to bring meaning to things. So rambling about this accomplishes a few things for me….it allows me to frame our wait for Panda into something positive like:
- The time is not right…either our family or Panda are not in the right place yet
- This extra time allows us to properly prepare for our new daughter
- Each passing day takes one day off the wait (BTW–This is how I get through Winter)
- We have done everything that’s in our control, now is time to let go and trust in God
Just by framing things this way, makes the wait bearable….
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
To read some of more of Viktor E. Frankl quotes click the link below