11 January 2010

[talk: Perspective. And the Longest Post Ever.]

I was inspired by a friend to ask the Lord for a "word" to represent my 2010.  Just one word.  Seems easy enough - and having some time with Him last week, the word came quickly to me.


One of the things I love about photography, is that a simple moment can change its essence, just by changing the perspective.  Being behind the bride, instead of in front.  Looking down on a baby, rather than looking up.  Perhaps even editing a photo into black and white, or increasing the colour contrast to be vivid and bright.  Same moment - yet the different perspectives can show the moment very differently.

All of these thoughts came into my head when I thought of the word "perspective."  So I pondered on it, trying to figure out a starting point for myself - and asking Him where he'd like me at the end.

I really felt that being able to understand perspective, can change one's outlook on life.  I'm impacted by people who are always "the glass is half full", rather than those whose glass is "half empty."  It's all in perspective.  One's half empty glass, is another's half full.  Someone always has it better than another, someone always has it worse.  And it's not just in one area of life that this is the case - it can be in every facet of life.

Have you ever been around someone who can't take a compliment?  "You look really great," to which they reply, "I've gained 10 pounds, haven't slept in a month, need a haircut, haven't had a new outfit since Y2K ... " and so on *smile*.  I'm sure you have ... and if you're at all like me - it may have even been you a few times.

It's interesting, though - to the person giving the compliment, they might be thinking, "Wow - they've got it together," while the person receiving it thinks, "Gee - have THEY got the wrong person ...".  It's all perspective.

Or take an example of two friends - both trying to get pregnant.  One does, the other doesn't.  The one that does, is violently sick the entire pregnancy - making the whole thing overwhelming and exhausting.   The friend who isn't pregnant might get annoyed at the ever-complaining-vomit-spuing friend.  "At least she's pregnant," she might say.  Totally, totally valid.  But does that mean that the pregnant friend isn't dealing with very real circumstances - and probably feeling completely invalidated and alone?  Possibly.  In her perspective, her pain is real ... and she isn't comparing her cirumstance to that of  a cancer patient, of a widow's loss, or to a father who lost his job - she's just comparing it to how she felt before she was pregnant. 

It's all perspective.  It's all real.

For me, my hubby's leg has been an on-going issue in our home.  It's been almost a year now - and his quality of life is still not where he'd like it to be.  He can't play hockey, can't walk for more than "x" amount of minutes at a time without it swelling, can't ride a bike with his kids, or jump on the trampoline.  All the things he used to do, have changed for now. 

We went away for a few days with my parents, and our boys were so excited about being in ski-school lessons. So was my hubby, until he realized that he couldn't put a ski boot on because of the pain.  So, instead he sat at the bottom of the hill in a chair for 4-5 hours every day, and would cheer them on whenever he would see them.  I never heard him complain once - but did see the sad face on day one.

Now - perspective.  Some would say, " ... must be nice.  At least he got away to have time with his kids."  So very, very true.   But he could look at the father skiing down the hill with his own kiddies and say, " ... must be nice that you get to ski with your kids."  See what I mean?  Perspective.   And the guy skiing down the hill - that my hubby could be potentially envious of - could've lost his wife in a car accident the week before.  Or just recovered from chemo.  Again.  Perspective.  Different angles that put light on the truth in different ways.

So - what's the difference between perspective and opinion?  I found this definition of opinion:  "the view that somebody takes on an issue."   The definition of perspective:   "a measured or objective assessment of a situation, giving all aspects their comparative importance."

Seeing it from all sides.  Perhaps even validating all of them, or realizing that all are false.  And honestly - the older I get, the more I think that people simply want validation.  They want their trials to be recognized - as apposed to being critiqued.   Most would agree that they don't really like it when someone says, " ... oh yeah?  well so-and-so has it worse then you ...".  Because a lot of times, people aren't sharing their disappointment or frustration to have someone else fix it for them.  They're just vocalising it, so that maybe someone will say, " ... hey.  I hear you.  I validate you.  You have a right to feel that way."

My prayer for 2010 is to have the Father's perspective.  Seeing life from all sides - the good and the bad.  Asking, "what good can come of this" as apposed to "there's no possible good that can come from this?".   To not allow the Enemy to use his "bottom-of-the-bottle-distortor" to sway how I look at the life that God has chosen for me to live the best that I can.   To look at my own life, without comparing it to someone elses that I think is better ... or feeling proud that mine might appear to be better than someone elses.

Does this mean that I will never complain about having a headache ( because " ... at least it's not something worse ...").  No.  I probably will.  Does it mean that I won't be disappionted by situations or by people?  No.  Pretty sure that'll happen;  it's just a fact of life.

But having this "word" is going to be my reminder to give all sides their equal value.  To ask His perspective in each situation.  To learn, to grow and to have a fantastic 2010 - despite what the negative angle looks like. 

I want to be a positive person, one who's glass is always half-full.  And that's gonna take some effort, I'm sure..

So.  How 'bout you?  Do you have a "word" that will propel you through 2010?


Carlie said...

Tania, this was very inspiring to read! It's so true and so hard to always realize the circumstances others might be facing! I pray God will open my eyes to more understanding as well! Thanks for this blog!

Laura said...

Awesome Tawn. I usually tend to like my perspective the best :) It's what you said in the last part that got me... recognizing and validating all perspectives. Ouch. So true. So good. Love ya!

Canadian Kristin said...

What a great word for your year, Tania! I can just imagine how many ways gaining new perspective can enhance or improve or expand your heart this year! Blessings as you explore life with "perspective"!!!

This year I have two words: "less" and "listen". I desire to do less, have less, need less, be less... sort of along the lines of "focus" but with "less" doing. And I want to "listen" to God, to my husband and kids, to my heart, to the people around me. I really feel God gently holding me, slowing me, stopping me, asking me to rest. And I'm trying hard to "do less" so I can "listen more" and honour Him. It's such a heart thing for me this year, so difficult to articulate since "less" is fairly foreign and gives me lots of learning room!

Yin said...

Hi Tawn, love this post!! So so well put and so so true. It's all a matter of perspective and I want to have His perspective this year - to see how everything matters and everything happens for a good reason and how He has us all in His Hands and perfect plan.

Tawn said...

Thanks, girls, for the comments!! It's nice to know that people can relate to the stuff that I'm learning. Be encouraged today!