I love this gorgeous quote from the ever-wise Anais Nin. I love it so much that I painstakingly stamped each of those letters to make a pretty and shareable quote pic. It’s not quite what I had in mind but the message is there, which is the most important thing.
I love this quote because it makes me think of two ways of seeing the world, two ways that I seem to flip-flop between in a kind of emotional dance. The way I happen to see the world on any given day is without a doubt a reflection of myself. My failings, my successes… words others have said that I seem to collect and hang onto like the shells and stones I used to collect as a kid. I never wanted to let any of them go, even though they would fill up my pockets and weigh me down. I had bags of stones that would roll around the floor of the car driving my parents crazy. Sometimes they would be unceremoniously dumped on a beach because the bags were so huge. I still get weighed down by other people’s stones. Sometimes I hang onto them so tightly that I become convinced that is who I am. That that thing is what matters most about me.
Knowing the world in the way that we do, we have a choice in how we interpret the information and all the sensory input that comes to us on a daily-basis. We are constantly bombarded by images from everyday life as we live it, but also second-hand narratives and images from the media, the internet, books and more.
Perspective is a beautiful thing.
And you can change yours.
Knowing the world in the way that we do, we can choose to follow the narratives told to us by the six o’clock news. We can choose to see the world as doom and gloom, and we can choose to focus on the chaos. We can choose to focus on the war, the inequality, the horrors, the doomed economy, the doomed environment, or whatever the issue of the day is. We can choose to see the world defined by these things.
There is, of course, very much to be said for tackling these issues, for speaking up against injustice, for protecting the planet. These are all very noble causes, and things I firmly believe should be important for everyone. But don’t look at the world through this lens alone.
There is no joy in it.
You have a choice in how you see things. Your perspective is yours alone.
Every time you allow your view of the world to become defined by these tragedies, hate, and other negative things, you prevent yourself from seeing all the beauty in the world.
There is much of it.
Even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, there is beauty in pretty much everything. There are lessons to be learned from every situation. And learning is beautiful. There are tiny moments of joy even amongst seemingly insurmountable struggles.
As hippy-like as this sounds, making the choice to see the world like this works wonders. I believe that if everyone made the conscious decision to see the world in this way then we wouldn’t have to worry about all those negative things. They wouldn’t exist. Utopian as it may be, if everyone in the world was truly happy, because they truly chose to look for the good in the world, in other people, and in situations, then we wouldn’t be in this mess. We wouldn’t need to fight, be it over lang, money or oil. We wouldn’t be destroying the environment, because we would all see the beauty in it and be grateful for what it offers us. We would enjoy it just being.
So I have two messages. They are things that I have learned and things that I am still in the process of learning as I try to put them into practice each day. Today was a hard day to do so, but I realised that I have a choice in this process. I can choose to see everything that happened, everything that others said in the negative way that my aching, sore, tired, disheartened self would be prone to see. Or I could make the choice to embrace the positivity and happiness and love that is inside each of us, no matter how hidden to see the world in that beautiful way. I chose the latter. And boy do I feel better for it. So, those two lessons:
1. Your perspective is a direct result of the energy you choose to give the most power within you.
2. You can change it.