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Changing our viewpoint

Monday, November 12, 2012

From the SP motivational calendar for Sat/Sun:

** Keep things in perspective. Most setbacks are easier to handle when you avoid making mountains out of molehills. Don't let a missed workout or extra cookie throw you off track. Pick yourself up and keep going. **

How we see things is rather important. Two unique individuals can see the exact same thing and have absolutely polar opposite reactions and opinions of it. The whole story of a group of blind people experiencing an elephant for the first time comes to mind.

But it goes beyond that. Even we, individually, can see the exact same thing and have very different reactions.

Example? A particular number on the scale. I remember being overdue with my first child, my DDb. Two weeks overdue, in fact. I was in for another doctor's appointment which meant weighing in. It was 198 or 199, higher than I'd ever been before. (She was born the next day, one ounce shy of 9 pounds - so I pretty much dropped right back out of the 190s in a day.) I would often say I'd never pass 200 pounds. Some years later, after deciding to gain weight to become invisible, I was 198 or 199. Rather than awe and a hope to not go higher, I shrugged off my mother's reminder of my saying I'd never pass 200 and was quickly past. Coming back down, I was super-excited about seeing 198 for the first time in years.

Each time it was the same thing - me seeing 198 on the scale. But my perspective changed. Once because I was pregnant, once because I was trying to gain, and finally because I was losing.

Coming back to setbacks, though, I had an interesting thought about how setbacks feel.

How large are speedbumps? When we look at them from within a car, probably not too significant - just annoying. When we're walking over one, we might be more aware of the extra inches we have to lift our feet. If we trip on one, finding our eyes down on a level with it, how big is it? HUGE! It takes up all of our vision. We can't really see anything else. We've lost all perspective because of how we are seeing it.

When we are right there in the moment of having just been knocked off our feet by a setback, it is monstrously large. Our perspective lacks anything surrounding to give us a true measure of it. Once we regain our perspective by standing back up and seeing it in light of all the actions and choices we have made and can make, it shrinks back to its true size.

That last is exactly what we need to do. Don't focus on how huge and insurmountable the mountain of a setback seems to be. Dust yourself off, stand up, take a few cautious steps away. THEN look back at the setback and realize that not only is it smaller, but it is BEHIND you on the path. Face forward and leave it in your dust.
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