Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Being a person who takes things seriously, it is sometimes difficult to gain perspective on even the most ordinary of situations. But, when a situation is not ordinary, the difficulty of gaining proper perspective is magnified.

There are often times in life, when things take you by surprise. Sometimes the surprise is pleasant and other times, it is not. Keeping the not-so-pleasant surprises (those that really throw you for a loop), in perspective, is not always easy for a intensely mindful person like myself.

Well, this past week, I had one of those,"I can't believe this is happening," moments. After the initial surprise, followed by feelings of disappointment and frustration, I got to work to remedy the situation as best I could. But, many times, the ability to effect life's events is out of ones own control, and even with ones best intentions and greatest efforts, progress is slow.

Then, a day later, the tragedy in Haiti happened. All my insignificant, blown-out-of-proportion worries were put into perspective.

All of a sudden, it didn't really matter as much if the changes I was trying to produce really materialized. Yes, this "unpleasant surprise" was still important to "MY WORLD", but that was all it was. It didn't effect my health or well being, it didn't effect the health and well being of my family or friends. In fact, it didn't effect anyones health or well being.

Everyone I know, and even those I don't, will be no worse for the wear. Well, maybe a little worse, but not significantly worse, and certainly not life altering-ly worse.

Life gives us many challenges, it gives some more challenges than others. Right now, it is giving the Haitian people life threatening challenges. I recognize that other people's difficulties do not make my own problems go away, minimize them, or make them seem any less important to me, but, they do put life into perspective.

A disaster like the earthquake in Haiti isn't needed to remind me that I shouldn't obsess about the everyday, or even the unexpected difficulties in my life. This is something I need to be reminded of daily. It is something I work hard to remember even when there is no major tragedy playing out on the world stage.

Today I am grateful for the gift of perspective. In my 50th year, I will try to remember to face each challenge head-on, and to deal with each situation in a positive way, even if I cannot make everything better. Most importantly, in my 50th year, I will be mindful to meet each challenge with the proper perspective. Perspective is a gift I will give to myself!

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