“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”
Changing my perspective on the scenes of my life has been one of the most challenging and rewarding work I have done. The window through which I always gazed was tainted and shattered in many places, and fixed my mind on the negative. I learned this thinking long ago as a child and I carried it, like a torch into adulthood believing it would light my way.
This fixed mindset rooted in fear and survival while always being critical, kept me stagnant with little chance for growth. I could never understand how my life, filled with so many blessings could feel so sad, empty and hopeless. I always believed there was something missing, some x factor that others had, but something that was not accessible to me.
Endlessly looking for the solution outside of myself I was lost, desperately searching in all the wrong places. Avoidance from my truth and from the truth that surrounded me was how I lived. The reality was that I didn’t want to look, or see that the problem and the solution lived in me.
Buried in layers of denial I lived in an altered state, far away from the truth and from the solution. A human doing reaching for more and more, sprinting on the wheel, hoping to reach a place of synthetic enlightenment.
I believed I was a prisoner to my circumstances with no ability to choose. This was the lie that I wanted to believe, to give myself reasons to be the victim and to justify my life of suffering. I reinforced these beliefs day by day, recycling the toxicity and chaos I was exposed to as a child, and creating scenarios that became evidence to support my false beliefs.
These thoughts and ideas kept me stuck, and unable to change my perspective to see the endless positives in my life. By choosing to stay stuck in these old loops I became the suffering, a victim of the world’s wrongs, never taking responsibility and never accepting my role in anything. The key here is that ultimately it was my choice, and this choice kept my perspective fixed and destructive.
The choice is not easy, and anyone who tells you it is hasn’t been to that place, standing on the precipice, right on the edge of touching who you are, and faithfully falling into who you could be. Making the choice to let go of our belief system takes courage that can only be found deep within one’s consciousness. It also takes faith and a relentless drive to go to a place far away from one’s current existence.
The reality is that one must experience a death of those beliefs, a deconstruction of the old framework to clear a path for a new perspective.
What gets us to the point where we can let go and change our perspective? Each one of us is different and there are many paths. Some of the strategies that have worked for me are as follows:
- Keeping an open mind while working to rid myself of expectations.
- Looking for the positive in all situations and in people. (even those we find intolerable)
- Believing that anything is possible in this life.
- Detaching from the things outside of ourselves that we falsely believe will make us whole.
- Cultivating gratitude. (each one of us can find things we are grateful for, even in the darkest of times)
- Continuing to work on ourselves and trying to do and be better each day, which also helps to avoid falling back into destructive patterns of behavior.
- Surrounding ourselves with people that love us and care enough to guide us to be better, by challenging us and helping us see other ways of looking at ourselves and the world.
- Using positive affirmations (self-talk) to improve our relationship with ourselves. Our relationship with the world mirrors how we speak to ourselves internally, and changing our relationship with ourselves in a positive way can lead to positive changes in all aspects of our life.
This journey is not an easy one. It requires courage, faith, focus, daily work, and ultimately an unfailing desire to want a different life. For me it has been life changing, and life giving. The rewards are countless but not always visible at a glance, and frequently only become visible with time. Staying the course and continuing to put one foot in front of the other is the way, and leads to new thoughts, ideas, perspectives and ultimately a beautiful life.