Perception. A word that has stuck with me for some time. That is what it is about. How we perceive things. For years I used a quote as follows; “we do not see things as they are, we see things as we are”. Even had a follower post a picture on Facebook with that quote. Often wondered where it came from. Even Google failed me. Then as I was going through some training material from years ago I found the source. Anais Nin provided us with those words of wisdom. Here I thought I could take credit for it.
I have been consumed of late. Consumed with what I had perceived as overwhelming problems. Consumed by the fact that life had dealt me bad cards. Not sure how I could overcome. I was fixated by certain issues and in that fixation found myself minimizing other people’s challenges. Chatted with a friend that is frustrated, read a book written by a colleague’s wife, read other true life stories. Got a better handle of what my reality really was and is.
I spoke to a group of people a few years ago. Spoke of the various challenges that farmers face. Spoke of the stress that accompanies all of us. One participant came to me after and shared what his major stressors consisted of. At the same time he said that was nothing compared to the devastation in Haiti. They had just experienced a devastating earthquake.
I concurred with him. I understood where he was coming from. At the same time I was not about to minimize his own issues. You see, all of us face challenges. Many of us feel that what we are experiencing is as much as we can bear. Then we talk to others who downplay our anxieties because theirs are much worse. And they may very well be. But the way it stands, the way I feel, is how I determine my situation, gauge my stress. I have not walked in the other’s shoes. The only thing I know is that I am down and would like that to change.
Sometimes it becomes a matter of interpretation. Often times it becomes a matter of how we deal with our challenges. Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said life would come without challenges. Although I often wonder why good people struggle and bad people seem to succeed. Sorry. Just being judgemental for a minute. I feel better.
As I alluded to earlier I have been consumed. Lost in my own world where nothing made sense. Lost sight of reality. Wallowing in a pool of self-pity. Wondering why, why could my life not be what I want it to be?
Then, thanks to a friend, I came to the realization that my life was good. I have so many things to be thankful for. Perhaps not the ones I would pick, at this moment, but many nonetheless. I understood that I had been fixated on the negative. I had lost sight. Blinders were firmly affixed to my outlook.
I came to a better understanding that my perception was off. I had lost sight. I needed to adapt and understand that life was good. Could it be better? Absolutely. Could it be worse? Without question. At the end of the day it is what it is. And what I do with what I have is all that matters. And, quite frankly, I really do not want to lose what I have.
Billy Graham said “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; and when character is lost, all is lost”. So I am going to work on getting my character back, then my mental health, (or the other way around) and, if there is time left, will work on my wealth. Make it a good one.