Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life

You can either be held prisoner by your perspectives or your can be set free by your perspectives. It is completely up to you. You can see yourself as a victim at any given moment, or you can see yourself as a victor.

As I look back on my life, there are so many examples of things that one might say, have gone very, very badly. And yet, I don’t see them that way. I may have, at one point in my life. But I no longer see them under a ‘poor me’ lens. Here are some examples:

I got very, very ill with Crohn’s Disease at 7 years old. Did it suck? Yes. Was it painful? Very. But….it also made me into the person I am today. Because of the Crohn’s, I eat well, I rest well, I recognize great health. I know the difference. Some people who have never been compromised, physically, do not know the difference. They may take their health and well being for granted. This may seep into the way they treat their body. They might not make the best nutrition choices. They may not exercise. They might drink too much. For me, I know the difference. I’ve learned that if you put certain foods into your body and don’t treat it as the temple that it is, it will stop cooperating with you at some point. I’m blessed to have experienced a chronic illness. It has informed me in ways I simply wouldn’t have seen before.

My parents got divorced when I was 13. At the time, it was horrible and embarrassing. I was so saddened that I no longer had an in tact family. But….I actually do have an in tact family. My entire family, including my mom, her husband, my dad, my sister and her family and my family are together at every holiday. My mom and dad still see each other in the summer at the cottage. They were together for the birth of my daughter. Here’s the difference. They are together without all of the conflict and toxicity that came with being married. Now, they are just very good friends who share children and grandchildren and have a great time together. It struck me this past Easter. My whole family was together (again) and it ended up being my mom and dad and sister and I spending the day together on the Saturday of the long weekend. It was so comfortable and easy and fun and funny. We had a great time. Bob, my mom’s husband is one of those incredibly gracious people that accepts and respects the connection. He never says a word because he knows that he and my mom are in a committed and wonderful marriage, but that my mom also has this other entity that is just as committed, in its own interesting way. So the perspective could have been: I come from a broken home. Wah, wah, wah…BUT, the perspective is: I come from a large, loving, committed, diverse family that loves each other maybe more now, than it ever could have had it stayed together through marriage.

I had an ileostomy surgery 14 years ago to completely remove my colon due to the Crohn’s Disease. It left me wearing a bag on my belly. It was a scary operation and I had no idea how I or others would cope with this change in my body. I could have seen this as a horribly incapacitating change. Here’s how I see it instead: I will never, ever get colon cancer. I can’t! I don’t have a colon! I will never shit my pants again (and trust me, I did it…a LOT, before I lost my colon). This is freedom for me. My ileostomy has never gotten in the way. On the contrary, it has given me my freedom back. And because I have accepted that I have it, those around me have accepted it as well.

I think you get the picture.

What circumstances in your life have you been perceiving to be horrible? A disaster? A tragedy? Try thinking of at least one reason why this circumstance may, in fact, be working for you rather than against you. I’m certain you’ll find at least one.

I know, from personal experience and having worked with clients for years that a change in perspective can change your life. It can make an immense difference. It may make the difference. Be willing to shift your views into a different direction and then watch the domino effect it has in your world.

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