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Seeing the Bigger Picture: Life Maybe Better Than You Think

How A New Perspective Can Create More Joy In Your Life

My daughter came home the other day complaining that a classmate had refused to lend her a charger for her computer. My daughter’s computer was running out of battery, but the girl kept insisting that my daughter did not need to borrow her charger. This incident really hurt my daughter, and I listened and acknowledged her pain and disappointment. As the conversation continued, my daughter also shared with me that all of the other children in the class had looked around and through their bookbags to see if they had a charger to lend her. She didn’t spend much time on that fact, and I let it be for that moment.

For the next few days, my daughter continued to tell me the story about the girl who would not lend her the charger. The fourth time she brought it up, I turned to her and said, “You have been so busy telling me the story about the girl who did not give you the charger, how come we never focus on all of the other children that looked all over the place to try and help you out?” She looked at me and smiled and said, “Yeah, that was pretty nice of everybody to try to help me out. I guess there was more nice in the room than mean.” We both laughed.

Just like my daughter, I often see clients view a problem they are having with a similar perspective. My clients sometimes let one difficult person or a problem with the phone company cloud their entire day with stress and worry. Even though issues like these can give us heartache, there is far less suffering when we make a point to see the bigger picture. Often we fail to see that we have hundreds of interactions each day that don't cause us aggravation and are working out just fine.

A great analogy is going into a kitchen and only seeing the dirty dishes. Did you ever walk into your kitchen and open the cabinets and admire how many clean dishes there are? When I heard this for the first time, I actually tried it and it made me laugh so hard! I never had entered my kitchen before and acknowledged what is clean. But when I did, nothing else seemed so bad.

So what happens when we acknowledge all the clean dishes in our lives? We stop our hyper-focus on the things that are bothering us, and we expand to see the entire vista of our lives. We stop looking just for the faults and also look for what is wonderful and glorious. This is beyond being an optimist instead of a pessimist. It is seeing life in its entirety and acknowledging everything. In fact, often there is so much to be thankful for and we see that so much is going our way.

And for the things that continue to bother us, keep in mind that in every moment there is always Maybe. Life keeps moving and as the winds change direction MAYBE things will work out better than you ever imagined. Just Maybe!