Perspective

 

Often I think that perspective is everything. How we view things is our reality. This is hard to learn and to realize that the world functions that way. One of the most difficult things to do is to change someone’s perspective. Our prejudices and our beliefs come from there. They are so ingrained that I don’t think we even know what is creating our world view.

The dictionary says perspective is:

a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
“most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”
synonyms: outlookviewviewpointpoint of viewstandpointpositionstandstance,  angleslantattitude, frame of mind, frame of referenceapproach, way of looking/thinking, vantage point, interpretation

When you read the synonyms you can see the far reaching effects of this. Sometimes it is worth our while to made changes to our perspective. If we see everything from a negative point of view then life will be negative.

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“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln

Perspective can change your life.

Seek the infinite

A “better” world is one in which we recognize that all people possess an incomparable value that we are morally obliged to respect . . . in social, political, and economic terms. Honoring the humanity of your fellow beings means that if they are hungry, ill, or oppressed, you must exert yourself to help them. . . . But this . . . runs up against our inherited instincts of self-protection, greediness, and desire to dominate others. . . . If we could rearrange energy from within—if we more often nurtured our companions and promoted their well-being, we would suffer much less. Rearranging energy from within is what mysticism does.                    Dr. Beatrice Bruteau (1930–2014)

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This quote from the meditation of Richard Rohr really speaks to what we must do to make the world a better place. Each of us has to dig deep and find that core of humanity that allows us to respect all beings.

She is so right. Our own instincts of survival, both physically and mentally, get in our way and keep us from becoming the humans we can be. She is calling us to seek that inner place where we meet the intangible, infinite spirit….no matter what we call it.

The Knit Wits

My friend and I have started an knit/crochet group meeting at a local coffee shop/restaurant. We have been meeting for quite a while but the group has suddenly begun to grow. It seems that we are gaining women who enjoy creating something beautiful while spending time with others. No phones, no media, just us. Since this meets at about 11:00 am we don’t have a lot of young women who can come but there are some young moms who stay at home with children who may want to join. I hope this happens. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our old ideas and learn new ones.

The atmosphere of the place engenders pleasure and calm. It is like being in one’s home without having to clean and cook. This is an oasis on the islands where we live. There are sofas and lounge chairs where you can just chill. I love this place. The Friendship Coffee Company

Find your path

College freshmen are people running around with their umbilical cords in their hands looking for some place to plug in.    unknown

This can be true of college freshmen but also a lot of young people. There are also those who don’t know what they want to be when they grown up and are at least 30.

ApprenticeWe have developed a society that thinks everyone should go to college. We have also equated intelligence with college. So untrue. What a mistake. There are many people who are so much better working with their hands. We have devalued physical work to the point where no one aspires to it. There is also the thinking that no decent living can be made that way. So untrue. We have friends who are plumbers and electricians who started out as apprentices and now own their own business and make a very lucrative living.

There was a book a while back that talked about two different types of people: farmers and hunter/gatherers. Farmers are content to work in areas where patience and consistency are needed. Hunter/gatherers are more physical. Initially they were required to keep multiples things in their minds at once in order to survive. Active people fit into this. We have created schools that force everyone into the farmer pattern. This may be why so many people have trouble in school.

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Somehow we need to go back to the medieval method of apprentices who study to be skilled workmen and are appreciated.

Demolish the wall

Sometimes we build walls around ourselves to stay safe. We wall out anything that hurts us…whether physical or mental. An extreme example of how the walls work is the patient written about called Sybil. Dividing yourself into separate people puts up walls between the root person to help her. Another example is Howard Hughes who physically walled himself in.

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Our various forms of mental illness can be walls. Ways that we have adjusted to the world in order to survive. The illnesses seem negative but at some time they may have been essential. (this may not include some types of illness)

The walls are hard to pull down. They are worse than masks. Masks seem more temporary but the walls have been built with bricks and mortar. Our anxiety can cause us to retreat from the world. We only seem safe if we stay under the covers on our beds.

When we are suffering it is very difficult to pull down the walls and move out of our comfort zone. When I am anxious I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I curl into a fetal position mentally and physically. I have erected a wall around myself.

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I have been working on the things that help me to remove the wall one stone, one piece of mortar, at a time. Meditation, remembering to breathe, focusing my mind, distraction are all things that help. With persistence these tools help me to keep the wall from growing and even begin to keep sections down. Progress is happening which gives me impetus to keep on keeping on.

Don’t give up. That wall can be knocked down a little at a time. Just keep on!

Opinions

Today I realized that I have been writing this blog for two years. Time flies when you are having fun. It has been wonderful to have a place to throw out my ideas and my opinions. At least no one has tarred and feathered me yet.

likingAt my age, 78, I do have lots of opinions and am old enough to not be afraid to share them. I am no longer afraid of speaking out and taking the consequences. It has gotten me in hot water occasionally but then I am not tied to everyone liking me.

Having lived through almost eighty decades I can see the changes that have taken place. The most concerning to me is the polarization of our society. The loss of perspective and respect for another’s opinions is worrisome. There is an unwillingness to even consider a different perspective. It is most evident in politics but can also be found in every day experiences. I feel like the lost lonely moderate. I know there are others but they are certainly not obvious.

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I hope we can find a way to become reasonable human beings again. This is not the culture I lived in for many years. I am so sorry that it has come to this. Is there a way back to respect, moderation and finding a middle ground?

Finding pleasure

bakerI have been cooking a lot lately. Mostly desserts. I have given a great deal of stuff away as we don’t need to be eating everything I make. I have been baking bread for years but am trying to hone my skill and make some different things. Some successes …some just so so. No real failures but I was not thrilled with them.

There is something creative about cooking. Most of my life was spent cooking for a family. Now there is just my husband and I most of the time I am not energized by our dinner menu. Nobody’s fault but mine. Breads and desserts are more fun.

I think this cooking has been therapeutic for me. It is better than just house and yard tending although some of that has suffered from my time in the kitchen. Oh well, it will still be there.. no genie will be coming to clean.

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Finding things that give you pleasure are important for maintaining physical and mental health. Being creative makes me feel good and that is a big plus. You may not find it in a job but find it where you can. Take the time to fit it in. Your demeanor will improve and life will just be better.

Balance

This has been the calmest week (so far) that I have had in a long time. The peace is wonderful. I know that it won’t last but this time has refreshed me. I didn’t plan for calm but it just happened. Maybe because the week was so ordinary.

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I don’t know if chaos just comes naturally or I help it to appear. It is so easy to take on more than I can handle and end up depleted at the end of the week. I did travel in May and had company (family) in July so maybe this is the kick back time from that.

I know that this won’t continue since we will have our bathroom torn up in the near future. We don’t have a start date yet but I think it will be soon. Just having to move everything out of that bathroom and put it elsewhere will be a challenge. Maybe it will help me to clean out more cabinets and not put so much stuff back. That is the positive side.

change-aversion-conflicted-user-leadMost of us don’t like change. In this case change will be good but the process will be excruciating. We have another bath but it away from our closets. I have realized that I will have to sleep elsewhere unless I want to rise at O’dark thirty every day. No and no!

 

As a nurse I learned that there is stress related to good things. Think about the stress of a wedding or the birth of a baby. This is called “eustress” and can be energizing but it can be anxiety producing as well. It depends on how we use it. good changeI will have to work to maintain a regular schedule and life pattern so that I don’t slip off into anxiety. I have been better with the things I need to do lately so I plan to keep on. Wish me luck!

Neutral is hard

How can things go so awry? How can life get so out of hand? In mediations I see the mistakes that people make. Sometimes they have to do with relationships. Sometimes they are about money. Sometimes it is a mixture of both.

business conflict resolution conceptThe hardest part about being a mediator is wanting to fix it and that is not allowed. It is part of the legal court system and we must remain neutral and not give any kind of advice. Once there was a case where the only thing dividing the two people was $10.00. It would have been simpler to give the person the money rather than try to get them to meet in the middle.

As of yet I have not been trained to do Domestic cases which deal with divorce and child custody. I can see the real emotional issues attached to that. I am not sure if I want to do that.

If you have a family with multiple children I think you have spent a great deal of time mediating.  I learned early on to let one person pick two brownies and the other choose first from the two. Much time was spent finding exact pieces. I have always loved this cartoon from a long time ago.

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The Circle of Life

Today part of our day was attending a funeral. The deceased was in his late eighties and an amazing man. He was a former Air Force Officer was extremely active in supporting the community. He was dearly loved by family and friends and will be deeply missed.  The good news is that he lived a full and fruitful life.

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After just having another great grandson born at the end of June I am again thinking about the connection of birth and death. Someone is always coming and someone is always going. It’s almost as if they are trading places. I guess that sounds like reincarnation but that is not exactly what I am thinking. To quote The Lion King it is the “Circle of Life.”

 

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New life is amazing. It seems to tell us that something is going right. It is too bad that the births are increasing the population beyond our planet’s ability to cope. We need to be more conscious of our place in the scheme of things. I hope that somehow the whole world’s population will begin to understand.